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From the collection of the 

7 n 


i a 


t P 

San Francisco, California 

How to Know People 
by their Hands 

by Josef Ranald 




All rights in this book are reserved, and it may not 
be reproduced in whole or in part without written 
permission from the holder of these rights. For in- 
formation address the publishers. 

Manufactured in the United States of America 









m. THUMB 28 


IV. PALM 34 













CONTENTS Continued 





STAR . . .ISLAND . . . CROSS . . . TRIANGLE . . . CIRCLE . . . TRIPOD 















CONTENTS Continued 







HAND 142 



SOME time ago there was an eclipse of the sun. To study this phe- 
nomenon, scientific expeditions began to gather their equipment 
many months in advance. They knew what instruments would be 
needed, where to go for their observations, and the exact moment 
when the event would take place. This eclipse was foreseen even 
before the birth of the scientists taking part in the expeditions. 

Was this a case of clairvoyance penetration of the future by some 
gifted seer whose word was accepted by modern scientists as suffi- 
cient reason to send them voyaging thousands of miles? Not at 
all. Test tubes and mathematical formulae breed men from Missouri 
who want to be shown. They would certainly not have accepted the 
word of inspiration on this subject any more than they would have 
taken a mad Adventist's forecast of the world's end. Yet they, and 
millions of others, accepted detailed predictions of the exact path 
the obscuring shadow of the moon would take. 

So, in other fields of science, has prediction become a matter of 
course. Chemists will tell you in advance the reaction to be obtained 
by combining two substances. Physicists will explain how soon and 
where a projectile, shot from a certain place, will hit. Engineers 
will inform you how many revolutions per minute to expect from a 
wheel as the power applied is increased or decreased. 

In less learned circles, everyone is willing to embark on limited 
predictions about the everyday occurrences of our lives. We take for 
granted that night will be followed by morning. We assume that 
when we apply a match to an open gas jet the gas will ignite. We 
are not surprised when we drop a pencil to see it fall to the ground. 

Quite clearly, we translate a repeated occurrence into prediction 
of its continuance. The scientist does not go that far. His predictions 
are based on involved calculations making use of past observations. 
In theory he is not so certain even as you that the sun will rise to- 
morrow, for his mathematical formulae express only the probability 
of such an event, not its certainty. Theoretically, his statistics give 
him nothing but the betting odds for and against. In practice, how- 
ever, he is able to figure the exact shift from yesterday's path, both in 



time and position, by which tomorrow's sunrise will differ from 

What I am trying to say is that the scientist, though he lays no 
claims to an ability to make certain predictions, actually does make 
predictions daily and has them accepted as valid both by his col- 
leagues and by the general public. 

Strangely enough, the one subject which scientists have not 
brought into conformity with their formulae of statistical averages 
is man himself. By and large man is completely unpredictable to him- 
self. Man's own activities, his reactions, his thoughts, the various 
complex factors which make up the individual are today probably less 
understood than any other natural phenomenon. 

The results of this course are evident everywhere. This era is 
characterized by a general breakdown. In Europe a whole generation 
lives from hand to mouth, making no plans for the future, dreading 
a war which seems to it inevitable. The thought of chaos and death 
is part of every European youth. In Asia the dam has already burst, 
and men are senselessly murdering each other. 

Statesmanship has proved itself a self-seeking Frankenstein. Per- 
haps it is now time for scientists to take the helm instead of states- 
men and generals. Man has lost his fear of thunderstorms as he has 
come to understand them. What he most fears now is his fellows. I 
believe that with complete understanding of himself that fear too 
would disappear. 

It seems to me that science should revolt from its subservience to 
cruelty and greed and put itself at the service of the human race. 
Its service would have to stem from complete understanding. Picture 
to yourself a great brotherhood of men of science intent on studying 
man for his own salvation. Finding the scientific leaders of this 
day Carrel, Jeans, Eddington, Einstein, Huxley, Russell concerned 
about the human race gives promise that such a brotherhood may 
some time be realized. In that promise, I believe, lies eventual free- 
dom for the majority of men from subjection to their fellows. 

Of course, we have had students of man in the past, but to date 
they have divided their subject into at least two separate parts. 
The first part, which took in the physical aspect of man, has made 
considerable headway, though, compared with the degree of cer- 


tainty which governs other scientific studies, this too is still in its 
infancy. The second division, man's study of his mentality, per- 
sonality, consciousness, psyche you can call it what you will is 
very far behind. 

One reason for the lag, it seems to me, is that the division into 
physical and mental compartments is an artificial one. Man is a 
whole who acts and reacts as a whole. There is no physician who will 
deny the interrelation between his patient's spirits and his recovery 
from a dangerous illness. There is no psychologist who will not ad- 
mit the effect of a disease on the behavior of his subject. Why then 
let names like psychology, physiology, biology prevent us from 
considering man as an entity? 

Instead of regarding the "mental" and "physical" as two dis- 
tinct things, many modern scientists are uniting them. The leaders 
of scientific thought see both aspects of man as parts of one inte- 
grated whole, the study of which some have called "psychobiology," 
a combined science of man's mental and physical being. To this new 
science they are bringing the methods of objective measurement 
which they use in the laboratory. If plotting statistical probabilities 
has become the foundation of chemistry and physics, that coldly 
impersonal method can also be used in dealing with the science of 
human beings. 

There is still another thing we can learn from the exact sciences. 
In their conclusions, scientists make use of all the evidence presented. 
In studying human beings, many of our theorists have built schools 
of thought around isolated sets of phenomena. Behaviorists denied 
that anything but physical actions and reactions could be studied. 
Freud placed us all in a half-world governed by repressed sex in- 
stincts. Others claim that diet alone makes the man. Why not look 
at all the evidence? 

It was with some such idea that I began to write this book about 
hand analysis. In a comprehensive study of man, the study of his 
hands will, I am certain, play a part. 

It is unfortunate that this subject has for so long been associated 
with charlatanry and fortune telling. Most of us think of crystal 
gazing and reading hands as very much the same thing. I myself 
began my study of hands in a spirit of skepticism. In the first place, 


palmistry, as I then thought of it, was associated with the death of 
my best friend, a young fellow-officer in the Austrian army. Con- 
sequently, I not only doubted that there was anything to handread- 
ing, but I very much resented its pretensions. 

My friend and I were on leave from front line warfare in 1917. 
As a lark, he proposed taking me to a university professor who read 
hands as a hobby. I laughed at the idea, but we went. 

Almost the first words of this student of hands were that he saw 
fear of death indicated in my friend's hand more than that, as the 
indication was repeated in both hands, the old man predicted the 
early death of my friend. 

I became angry. "A safe prediction for you old men sitting at 
home," I told him. "What one of us in the trenches does not fear 
death? And for how many of us can you not foretell the end within 
a very short time? Tell me, have I also a week?" 

The old man looked at my hand. "No," he said. "You will live a 
long time. You will have many narrow escapes, it is true, many ad- 
ventures. You will meet the great men of this age, travel all over the 

Going back on duty I was still bitter about the professor's remark 
to my friend. Of course, there was nothing in the hocus-pocus, but 
what a thing, I thought, to tell an eighteen-year-old boy going back 
into the hell of trench warfare that he would die in a few days! 
Two days later my friend was dead. 

Almost miraculously, I escaped not only that time but again and 
again, though I was severely wounded. Coming out of the hospital, 
I was reassigned from the Galician front lines to the Austrian army 
of occupation in a Ukrainian border town. 

But that status was not to last long. In those historic times of 
1918, armies and empires were disintegrating. I found myself de- 
serted by my own men, completely out of touch with headquarters. 
The situation was hardly conducive to the long life which had been 
promised me, but I took what steps I could to safeguard myself. 

In a peasant cart I set out for the town in which divisional head- 
quarters were located. The route to be traveled was a dangerous one. 
Everywhere the country was beset by roving men, deserters tired of 
organized slaughter, wandering about, preaching revolution. An offi- 


cer's uniform was not a recommendation for their clemency. Even 
more of a menace to travelers were the bandits who were picking the 
country's already bare skeleton. 

My cart safely passed through two or three groups of foragers but 
finally fell into the hands of another. I was dragged from the cart 
into the woods. Even now I can recall the feeling of that beating. 
At the time I only hoped that they would continue to beat me into 
insensibility so that I might not feel too much if they decided to be 
slow and unpleasant about killing me. 

They left me leaning against a tree, too tired even to hope for a 
quick death, as all but one of them withdrew for supper. Dimly I 
could feel the world about me, the fading sunlight, the dancing 
shadows of the leaves, the evening chirruping of the birds. I do not 
remember being afraid. I was not even interested, only numbly 
aware of discomfort. 

I raised my hand to wipe a trickle of blood out of my eye. The 
red sun, sinking, blended with the red blood on my hand, and every 
line, every mark in my palm was etched in crimson. I raised my 
hand and stared at the outlines written in blood. From far off there 
came into my mind the memory of the professor's forecast of a long 
life. That seemed to me a wonderful joke. I looked over at the 
group of men sitting about their fire and no doubt at that very 
moment planning my death. The joke became too much for me. I 
laughed out loud. 

My guard looked at me in amazement. He called to the leader to 
find out what the madman was laughing at. Slowly the bearded cap- 
tain walked over and stared. I could not help it. I kept on rocking 
and gasping with laughter 

"Are you crazy?" asked my captor. 

I explained. The joke was really too good to keep to myself. 
"See," I said. "It is here written that I am to live long and have 
much good fortune before I die." And again I went off into crazy 

Suddenly a movement from the captain caught my attention. He 
had raised his own rough, dirt-cracked hand and was studying it 
curiously. Automatically, I still can't explain why, I reached over 


and seized his hand, turned it palm up and began to speak. 

I told the ragged man a tale of greatness, of power, riches and 
domination. Words came fast, without thought. I soon had an au- 
dience. When the leader appeared satisfied with the glories I had 
found in his hand, he motioned for another to step forward and 
learn from my strange wisdom. 

All night long in the dancing light of a small fire, I continued to 
look at hands and make up stories to go with them. Fatigue and 
everything else disappeared. I only saw hands and knew that I must 
keep on talking. With day, the men stopped their discussion of 
what I had told them and thought of food. They included me in 
their meal and then gathered to decide my fate. I was surprised 
when they offered me freedom and an escort to ensure my safety. 

Certainly there was very little in this experience to convince me 
of there being a scientific foundation for hand analysis. My conclu- 
sion was that people were gullible, would believe anything, even take 
seriously the fantastic stories of a man fighting for his life. But my 
curiosity was aroused. Later, as roving newspaper correspondent, I 
had many excellent opportunities to study the hands of almost every 
country's outstanding personages. I determined to satisfy my 

Since then, I have collected and studied more than ten thousand 
handprints. As I continued, I did become more and more convinced 
that the hand actually showed something of a man's character, 
health, temperament and even his fate, at least to the extent that the 
last is affected by the other factors. I continued to add to my collec- 
tion of handprints, feeling that the more examples I studied, the more 
certain I would be in my conclusions. With a larger ana larger 
sampling to go by, I felt that I could draw some conclusions from 
my findings. On the basis of probabilities derived from statistical 
averages, I could associate certain markings in the hand with certain 
characteristics in men and women. 

If this point of view is applied to the reading of hands, it seems 
to me that all the superstition and occultism of ancient palmistry 
can be discarded. There is then left a study which can be of great 
value to all sciences dealing with the study of man. Hand analysis 
should become a part, perhaps a very important part of the new 


composite study, psychobiology. The physician has already found 
the hands an aid in making diagnoses. In my opinion, he can make 
of them a very accurate index to certain ailments which manifest 
their symptoms in the skin, texture, nails, bones and palm of the 
human hand. 

As for the psychologist, the study of hands provides him with a 
fund of information capable of being dealt with in a thoroughly 
scientific manner. Best of all, the hands, in my opinion, are a bridge 
by means of which we can join the physician's, biologist's and 
physiologist's approach to his subject with that of the psychologist. 

There are, for example, the endocrine glands, tiny, little-under- 
stood cells whose malfunctioning is registered by symptoms in the 
hands as well as by other physiological changes and also by profound 
changes in the mentality of a person, sometimes by complete shifts 
in personality. Physicians and psychologists recognize that attempts 
to change lefthandedness often lead to speech defects, mental re- 
tardation and even serious psychological maladjustments, especially 
in children. Daily we are adding to the evidence that hands are 
closely associated with all the other factors which make a human 
being what he is. 

To the anthropologists, the study of hands should be of special 
interest. The various races have not only characteristic facial and 
cranial variations, but also marked differences in their hands. The 
hands of Negroes are long and narrow. The northern white races 
have large, broad hands. Mongolians usually have hands medium 
to small in size with long, sinewy fingers. 

Different nationalities also tend to develop characteristic hands. 
The composite which is known as American is developing a hand 
rather longer in the fingers than that of the European nations which 
migrated here. The American hand has a prominent ridge across the 
back. The palm and fingers tend to be hard and dry. The nails are 
large and well shaped. 

Perhaps even more than the shape of the hand, its language would 
interest the anthropologist. I am sure that there is a wealth of in- 
formation in the gestures and motions by which men supplement 
their spoken language. Why are the Latins so much more expansive 
in their gestures than the Anglo-Saxons? What determines the dif- 


ferent motions by which individuals express the same thing? What 
causes the habitual muscular response of one person or one nation 
to differ so markedly from another's response to the same stimulus? 
The answers to these questions will surely throw some light on our 
own origins and functionings. 

I realize that this has become a long introduction, but the popular 
misconceptions about my subject call for much explanation. Palmis- 
try has occupied some of the most profound minds of the past. 
The Chaldeans, the Assyrians and Egyptians were devotees of the 
art. Ancient Chinese civilizations thought that hidden meanings and 
occult signs could be read in the lines of the hand. Athenian philoso- 
phers have left treatises on palmistry, both Plato and Aristotle having 
written on the subject. Roman emperors were among its practition- 
ers, and from ancient times to this day statesmen, kings, princes and 
adventurers have, before important ventures tested their luck by 
asking the aid of palmists. 

Unfortunately the mystic and occult powers assigned to palmists 
almost from the beginning of time prevented study of the hands from 
developing into an exact science. That it is capable of being so de- 
veloped I am fully convinced. I have tried in this book to approach 
the subject from an entirely pragmatic point of view. I have wanted 
to strip hand analysis of all its false trappings of mysticism. At best 
the subject is still a pseudo-science retaining much that is inferen- 
tial rather than proven by experience. That however is unfortu- 
nately true of almost all the methods so far used in studying our- 

If this book succeeds at all in breaking through the superstitions 
which hide the true worth of hand analysis I shall feel that it has 
served its purpose. I should like, if nothing else, to arouse the 
curiosity of those who are better equipped than I to pursue the 
study in all its branches and implications. I feel convinced that care- 
ful scientific study of our hands has much to tell us. I look forward 
to the day when this will be acknowledged by all thoughtful men. 
Until that day, I can only hope that I have done a little to bring 
it nearer. 

Josef Ranald 

PART ONE Analysis and Interpretation 


'WHAT, will these hands ne'er be clean? Here's the smell of blood 
still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand." 

More truly than she knew, was the sign of murder on Lady Mac- 
beth's hand. In people's hands are all their buried hopes, their 
wants, their loves, their passions the best and worst they have 
ever done or ever hope to do. If you can read the stories in their 
hands, you will know your friends and enemies even better than 
they know themselves. 

One of the few things which modern, scientific hand analysis has 
retained from the lore of ancient palmistry is the classification of 
human hands by their shapes. Though various students of the 
hand have divided their subject into as many as 170 typical divisions, 
most authorities agree on seven basic types, each with its character- 
istic traits. 


The elementary hand belongs to the simplest and least cultivated 
persons. It is easily recognized, being thick, clumsy and stolid- 
looking. Its fingers are short in proportion to the palm and have a 
stubby, childish appearance. The fingernails, too, have a squatty 
shape. Hands like this perform the heavy labor of the world with- 
out questioning. They show little or no imagination. They do not 
indicate sensitiveness to beauty, though their owners may be senti- 
mentally affected by simple melodies, symbolic pictures or tender 

With this elementary hand go strong family affection and prideful 




nationalism. Emotionally, the owners of such hands are limited to 
simple, direct responses. The elementary hand does not show vio- 
lent temper, as some authorities believe. In my experience, owners 
of such hands may be among the mildest and kindest of beings, 
though physical expression is their usual reaction to outside stimuli. 
Hence, the legend that they are brutal. But, actually, only certain 
types of elementary-handed persons, in whom jealousy or other prim- 
itive passions are easily aroused, are given to violence, and their out- 
bursts are of the moment, rarely lasting after the first impulse has 

This type of hand is fast disappearing. As men improve their 
physical conditions and broaden their cultural interests their hands 
reflect the change. 


Today one of the most common types is the conic, or sensitive 
hand (see plate 1). It derives its name from its cone-like or trian- 
gular shape, broad at the base and tapering at the tip. The pure type 
is conically shaped both in the palm and in the fingers, each finger 
tapering from a wide base to a small tip. The fingertips are rounded, 
sometimes slightly pointed. 


The conic hand is the hand of feeling, not of action. At its worst, 
when the palm is soft, full and without energy, it marks the intro- 
spective dreamer. It shows a vivid inner life, which may be shared 
with others through conversation, but rarely through activity. The 
conic hand usually indicates a quick mentality, an intuitive grasp of 
ideas, an enthusiastic responsiveness but an interest which wanes 

People who shine in company and like to be with others often 
have conic hands those who are admirably fitted for a social role, 
being quick, impulsive, talkative, witty and sometimes a bit ma- 
licious. They have hundreds of friendships and no friends, for they 
form no deep attachments. Even in love, they are inclined to be 
fickle. They are generous, so long as generosity requires no great 
effort on their part. They love luxury and comfort. They are vain, 
easily flattered and easily hurt. 

On the finer side, people with tapering hands make up the appre- 
ciative audiences which keep our artists, poets, sculptors, painters 
and musicians alive. The conic hand is often called "artistic." This, 
I have found, gives the wrong impression. Persons with conic hands 
do not have the energy and force required to create beauty. They 
appreciate it. They enjoy it and respond to it intuitively, often with- 
out analysis or theoretical understanding. 

When the conic hand is firm and full of energy, all its weaker 
attributes are modified, and the strong ones emphasized. Adding 
stability to quick understanding, such hands promise much more 
consistent brilliancy. The result is not only day dreams, but actual 


The square, or realistic hand (see plate 2) is almost the exact op- 
posite of the conic. Its name describes its appearance. Palm, fingers, 
tips, nails all have a squared-off, rectangular shape. To identify it, 
look for those indications and look especially for a straight line at 
the wrist and at the base of the fingers, with all the fingers attached 
at about the same level. 

The square hand is the useful, practical, methodical hand. It 


usually indicates a planned life, and interests narrower than for the 
conic hand, but greater thoroughness and application directed in 
those interests. Success almost always accompanies the square hand 
unless other indications deny its potentialities, but achievement is 

usually slow, through method and persistence, not through flashing 
brilliance. In dealing with others, squarehanded people are punctili- 
ous, slightly formal and exceedingly honest. In business, they are 
efficient; they have a knack of handling subordinates with imper- 
sonal fairness; and their driving force is an even, constant pres- 
sure, moving them forward. Depending on other signs in the hand, 
squarehanded people are capable of being either forceful executives 
or efficient subordinates. 

But the lighter side is very much toned down in persons with real- 
istic, square hands. The arts are studied and indulged in only if they 
also serve a mundane purpose, like social advancement. Square- 
handed people are likely to be narrow-minded in matters outside 
their immediate interests. They oppose social progress, scoff at radi- 
cal scientific achievement, and pooh-pooh anything which smacks 
of mysticism. At worst, they are dogmatic, assertive, unimaginative 
and domineering. At best, they are efficient, self-confident, honest 
and logical. Their affections rarely conflict with their worldly inter- 
ests, though in family relations they are likely to be indulgent and 



ambitious. They have great regard for custom and tradition, though 
they are not easily swayed by others. 


A hand which promises an interesting and active life is the 
spatulate, or energetic (see plate 3). It gets its name from its 

spready, broad fingertips and fanlike palm, shaped like the flat 
spatula knife which chemists use for mixing. Its palm may be 
broader at either the wrist or at the base of the fingers. 

The outstanding attributes of a spatulate hand are driving en- 
ergy, restlessness, mental and physical daring. The owners of spatu- 
late hands are always forceful personalities, sometimes eccentric, 
more often just highly individualistic. They are neither credulous 
nor overly skeptical, approaching new ideas with enthusiasm, but 
applying sound reasoning. 

Persons with spatulate hands tend to accept others for what 
they are. They have no desire to reform or to possess their friends. 
Consequently, their attachments may be strong, although on the 
surface they may appear casual. This is not fickleness in the usual 
sense, where like turns to dislike, love to malicious backbiting, as is 
sometimes true of those who have conic hands. On the contrary, the 



spatulate-handed are extremely loyal in friendship and cameraderie, 
less so in love ; but shared experiences are the basis for their friend- 
ships, and parting leaves fondness without sense of loss. 

The spatulate hand looks for conflict and difficulties to surmount. 
When it shows no humanity, its owner is likely to be tyrannical. 
Mussolini has such a hand, and Genghis Khan undoubtedly had. 
Where mental qualities are most highly developed, the spatulate 
hand is that of the most daring scientists, men whose quest for ad- 
venture takes them into uncharted realms of knowledge. Where physi- 
cal qualities predominate, you will find it to be that of the soldier of 
fortune, the explorer, the adventurer. The balanced spatulate hand 
is usually found in great engineers, inventors and builders. Empire 
makers and destroyers have spatulate hands. 


The knotty or profound ( see plate 4 ) hand, also referred to as the 
philosophic hand, is one which goes with deep thought. You can rec- 

ognize the type by its bony structure the joints large, the back of 
the hand ridged, the general outline irregular. Its fingertips are usually 
pointed or rounded. 

Logic in its narrow sense is the outstanding trait of the knotty 


hand. It is the logic of abstract thought, which builds hypotheses 
without regard for reality, rather than the logic of practicality. 
The knotty-handed person delights in the intricacies of higher math- 
ematics or metaphysical discussion. Material wellbeing is of no con- 
sequence to the owner of this philosophic hand. He is contemptuous 
of worldly success and is frequently almost foolhardy in generosity 
with his possessions. Yet he can be miserly, though unconsciously 
so, with himself, shutting himself into a world of his own and re- 
fusing even to recognize the travail and suffering of his neighbors. 
He is tolerant of all shades of opinion. 

When aroused, however, the person with the profound type of 
hand is a fearless advocate of the rights of others. His sense of 
justice, his love of freedom, his contempt for meanness and cow- 
ardice place him among the bravest fighters for the rights of man. 


The most beautiful hand is the intuitive or pointed one (see 
plate 5). It has the beauty of fragile porcelain, and its weakness. 
You will very rarely see anyone with the intuitive hand in its pure 
form, but many have hands so nearly approaching the type that I 
shall list it as one of the basic shapes. It is long and narrow, with 
slender, tapering fingers and long, oval, pointed nails. 

The pointed hand is the hand of spiritual fervor. It goes with a 
trusting overcredulous nature. It has the intense emotionalism of a 
child, to whom everything is black as pitch one moment, radiant the 
next. There is no anger in this type, nor any feeling of energy 
or fury. Those with pointed hands are mild and forgiving, easily 
hurt, but easily forgetting. They are not so much illogical as with- 
out logic or cool judgment. They have no idea how to be businesslike 
or practical. 

Yet, persons with pointed hands have a compensatory gift. What 
they are unable to reason out logically, they often grasp more directly. 
They are highly intuitive, extremely sensitive to feelings and impres- 
sions. They are attuned to receive waves or currents too delicate for 
other persons and even too delicate to register on the most sensitive 
instruments so far devised by man. For this reason, they make ex- 


cellent mediums, though frequently they are unaware of their sixth 

Love of beauty and disgust with ugliness are often guiding prin- 
ciples in the lives of those who have intuitive hands. The authors of 

our most inspired lyrical poetry have often had this type of hand. 
They live through their feelings. Their emotions swing from ecstasy, 
when they are loved, to despair when they feel themselves lonely and 


Of course, there are few persons nowadays whose hands are of one 
type alone. Most of us are much more complex than that. There are 
various combinations, such as a square hand with exceptionally 
long, though still squaretipped fingers (see plate 6). Such a combi- 
nation is an excellent one, the long fingers adding an inquiring mind 
and keen observation to the practical nature which goes with a 
purely square hand. 

Knotty fingers on a square hand (see plate 7) will add mental 
originality, a sense of justice and daring to the qualities indicated 
by squareness. Spatulate fingers with a square hand give originality 



and energy. Such a combination is excellent ior an inventor. A square 
hand with conic or pointed fingers is a good indication for creative 
art work, the square palm giving method and perseverance, the 
tapering fingers contributing sensitiveness and love of beauty. Even 

in this combination, however, the force and drive of energy are 
needed to make for real accomplishment. 


More common even than a hand combining only two types is the 
thoroughly mixed or versatile hand (see plate 8). In this, the fingers 
often belong to different types, and the palm may be of still another 
shape, or combine characteristics of a number of different ones. 
The outside edge may, for example, tend to the oval, the other be 

To analyze such a hand, the student must determine what its 
dominant forces are. I shall discuss that in the chapter on the 
mounts and in the one about the fingers. Aside from what the indi- 
vidual fingers tell us, we can consider certain tendencies common to 
all mixed hands. 



The mixed hand shows versatility combined with a variability of 
purpose which often negates the former. People with mixed hands 
are facile, resourceful, adaptable. They are restless and inquisitive, 
enthusiastic and inventive. But they often fail to develop any one of 

their many gifts to its limit and so become jacks of all trades and 
masters of none. Of course, the weaknesses in a mixed hand are less- 
ened by energy and purpose and magnified if the will is not strong. 
In studying a hand, try to classify it according to one of the 
seven types. If, as is most often true, you decide that your subject 
is of the mixed type, then determine what the dominant traits are. 
When the hand is so much a mixture that you cannot point to any 
one or two dominants, then make a careful analysis of the fingers, 
lines and mounts, balancing the various factors against each other. 


SINCE most hands are of the mixed type, each finger must be con- 
sidered separately. The fingers, being instruments of the brain and 



connected with it through the tiny telegraph wires of the nerves, 
represent certain qualities. Each finger indicates specific talents or 
failings. The size of the finger, its shape, its texture and propor- 
tions, modify the basic qualities represented by that finger. 

To be considered good, fingers should be straight, in proportion 
to the rest of the hand, and they should be set level with each other 
at their bases. A low base detracts from the qualities represented by 
a finger. Fingers set close together indicate a formal, restrained, sus- 
picious nature. Wide spaces show unconventionality and a free and 
easy trend. 

In chirology, there are only four fingers (see plate 9), the thumb 
being so important that it is classed by itself. The index finger is 
called the first, or finger of Jupiter. The middle finger, the second. 



is the finger of Saturn. The ring finger, third, is the finger of Apollo. 
The little finger, fourth and last, is the finger of Mercury. 

These names were adopted in early times. Because palmistry was 
associated with astrology, the four fingers received the names of 


planets, more remotely, of Roman gods. For convenience, I am re- 
taining the traditional finger names, though of course I do not con- 
nect them in any way with the schematic superstitions of astrology. 


In studying the fingers, two important things must first be deter- 
mined: whether the fingers as a whole are long (see plate 10) or 
short (see plate 11) and which one or two fingers are dominant ones. 
Length cannot be judged entirely from the relative size of the fingers 
and the palm, for a hand may have an unusually long palm with 
normal fingers, which would make the fingers appear short rather 
than normal. When the palm is approximately the same in width as 
in length, normal fingers would be about as long, reaching almost 
to the wrist if doubled over. Long ones would reach the wrist or 
even beyond it, and short ones would end above. This test cannot, 
however, actually be made by bending the hand, for the stiffness 
of the hand and its thickness, almost as much as the fingers' length, 
would determine how far the fingers reach. The best method is to 
judge the distance by eye or actual measurement. 

For ideal balance, the thumb should be as long as the fourth 
finger and the first as long as the third. Of course, greatness rarely 
goes with ideal balance. It is the unusual strength of certain traits 
which gives us geniuses and leaders as well as crackpots and crim- 
inals. Long fingers, on the whole, indicate patience, love of detail, 
system and order. Short ones go with impulsiveness, action, speed. 


Thick fingers are the practical, materialistic ones. When they are 
very thick, they show love of luxury and a tendency towards self- 
indulgence. Thin fingers may show indulgence of a different kind 
petulance and worry for thin fingers are exacting and nervous. 
As to the contours, smoothness when the joints do not protrude 
indicates an open, frank, company-loving nature, light-hearted, 
talkative and somewhat shallow. Knotty joints go with seriousness, 
thought and mental self-sufficiency. 




Whether the fingers are flexible or stiff is extremely significant. 
Firm fingers show an intense, passionate, violent nature, one which 
might accomplish great things individually or as a leader, but which 
cannot cooperate with others or work as a subordinate. The draw- 
backs of such fingers are intolerance, stubbornness and lack of tact. 



The last is especially pronounced when the fingers are short as well 
as stiff. 

With flexibility goes an intensification of the qualities of the 
mount and finger. Supple fingers indicate adaptability, tact, wit and 
success in social contacts, though not necessarily a love of company. 


Crooked fingers (see plate 12) show distortion or misuse of the 
qualities which go with the misshapen finger, but the knotty, bony 
structure of the profound hand should not be confused with bent or 
crooked shape. Nor is crookedness the same as a slight bending to 


one side. Fingers bent laterally (see plate 13) always emphasize 
shrewdness, and this indication should be studied in conjunction 
with the particular qualities ascribed to the finger having such a 
bend. A finger twisted on its axis exaggerates the moral or physical 
defects associated with that finger. 


In most persons, the fingers differ greatly from each other in 
length, smoothness, thickness, and so forth. It is therefore important 
not only to determine which qualities predominate for the hand as a 
whole, but to relate them to the traits which go with each particular 
finger. There will, of course, be contradictions. In some cases, these 
indicate actual conflicts within the personality for most of us are 
complex, made up of many warring desires and characteristics. In 
other cases, a dominant trait may completely negate the signposts 
of an opposing quality. 

For that reason, I have found it extremely important to decide, 
quite early in the process of an analysis, just which are the domi- 
nant characteristics. Size, both length and thickness, and the gen- 
eral contours of a hand will indicate which finger is the dominant 
one. A finger which is larger than normal in proportion to the others, 
or one toward which the others appear to lean, usually shows the 
dominant influence in a hand. 


But before considering the fingers individually, I want to discuss 
the divisions of the fingers, that is, the three joints or phalanxes. 
The nail phalanx is always referred to as the first (see plate 14, the 
joints marked A) ; the middle division as the second (see plate 14, 
the joints marked B) ; the one nearest the palm, the third (see plate 
14, the joints marked C). I have found that you can divide the 
phalanxes roughly, classing the first (A) in each finger as indi- 
cator of mental qualities, the second (B), of practical and business 
qualities, the third (C) as guide to physical qualities. 

It is my experience that persons with long first phalanxes are 



most active in the mental field. When the second phalanx is longest 
and largest, the practical and business side will be uppermost. When 
the third phalanx leads, I have found the subject greatly absorbed 
in the physical side of life. 




The first finger, Jupiter (see plate 9), indicates ambition, love of 
power, pride, leadership and also devoutness. When this finger is the 
dominant one (see plate 15), some or all these qualities will, in vary- 
ing degree, be strong motivations. When the finger is very inflexible, 
cruelty and tyranny may be added to the qualities of leadership. 
If the Jupiter finger is hooked, the ambition will be a selfish one, 
and the owner of such a finger may not be overscrupulous in his 
choice of means. A very thin and nervous index finger, even though 
long, does not mean purposeful ambition or leadership. Rather does 
it indicate the frustrated wish for power, realized only in day- 

Of course, the first phalanx and the fingertip modify the general 



meaning of a long first finger. A pointed tip on the first finger de- 
notes intuition especially if the inside surf ace is very full; square 
tip shows love of truth; a spatulate one, bigotry; an oval one, re- 
finement. When the nail phalanx is long, intuition is again empha- 
sized; while a short first phalanx indicates the skeptic. Thickness 
of Jupiter's first phalanx implies sensual qualities, and a thin nail 
phalanx on the first finger indicates austere rigidity. 

The middle phalanx when long shows determination; lack of en- 
ergy when it is short ; selfishness when it is thick ; and honors, rather 
than riches, as the spur of ambition, when this phalanx is thin. 

A long base phalanx on the index finger is a sign of love of power; 
a short one, of modesty and resignation. Thickness here shows sen- 
suality or gluttony; slenderness, control of the appetites. 


The second, or Saturn finger as the middle finger is called (see 
plate 9), governs thought. When this finger is the dominant one (see 


plate 16), towering above its two neighbors, our subject is likely to 
be serious and given to solitude. He may have humor, but it is prob- 
ably of a satiric nature. A weak second finger, whether unusually 
short or abnormally thin, shows frivolity or lack of concentration. 


If the nail phalanx of the Saturn finger (see plate 14, 2A) is long 
and tapering, we can be sure of a cautious, persistent and sincere 
personality. If the tip is pointed, look for lightness. When it is square, 
expect a serious person with sound judgment. A spatulate tip on the 
Saturn finger shows the pessimist. A short first phalanx indicates 
the fatalist; a thick one, carelessness; a very thin one, cruelty. 

The middle phalanx on the Saturn finger (see plate 14, 2B), when 
long, shows precision and a scientific approach; when short the 
opposite credulity and a mystical bent. Thick, it goes with great 
physical energy and capacity for manual labor; thin, with philo- 
sophic logic and exactness. 

A long base phalanx on the middle finger (see plate 14, 2C) indi- 
cates love of solitude; a short one, lack of control in giving either 
meanness or overgenerosity. This phalanx, if thick, shows a material- 
istic and plodding temperament; if thin, it indicates miserliness. 
Thus, a short, thin base phalanx on the Saturn finger would certainly 
indicate meanness rather than overgenerosity. 


The third finger, that of Apollo (see plate 9), governs sociability, 
the arts, and self-esteem. To have this finger dominant is an excel- 
lent sign for actors, singers, and those who seek careers in the applied 
arts. The top phalanx in this finger (see plate 14, 3 A) has a great 
variety of connotations, depending on its size and shape. Bent back, 
it indicates appreciation of beauty. This appreciation takes on a 
formal quality when the phalanx is thin, a hint of sensuality if it is 
thick. A pointed tip on the Apollo finger signifies a tendency towards 
mysticism and a clinging to false values in judgment. A short phalanx 
shows simplicity; a long one, eccentricity, a seeking after queer, 
sometimes unattainable objectives. With an oval tip, I have usually 
found ease in speech, sometimes lack of discretion. A square tip 
shows a positive, certain nature; a spatulate one energy and activity. 

The middle phalanx in the Apollo finger (see plate 14, 3B) is 
extremely important for those in creative fields, for it shows creative 
ability when it is long and lack of aesthetic sensibility when it is 
short. Thickness goes with originality. 


The base phalanx of the Apollo finger (see plate 14, 3C) indicates 
the realist if it is short, the coxcomb if it is long. Thickness in this 
phalanx bespeaks a sense of dramatics and a love of color; a thin, 
waisted shape, indifference, lack of enthusiasm. 


The fourth, or little finger, which is called the finger of Mercury 
(see plate 9), governs business abilities and the faculty of speech, 
whether written or oral. The tip of this finger shows inventiveness 
and restlessness, an active and resourceful nature, when it has a 
spatulate shape ; common sense, when it is square ; a visionary, meta- 
physical strain, when it is pointed; and refinement, a formal sense of 
values, when it is oval. If Mercury's top phalanx is hooked, it indi- 
cates a self-centered, not overscrupulous person ; and when it is bent 
back, you will find someone who is inquisitive and talkative. Length 
in this phalanx shows love of study, though usually study of a practi- 
cal nature. Shortness indicates mental laziness. Thickness is a sign of 
lack of delicacy. 

A very thin middle phalanx in the little finger (see plate 14, 4B) 
gives us the gambler, or a very ambitious person who is impatient of 
the usual methods of fulfilling his ambitions. A long middle phalanx 
indicates a commercial or legal bent. A short middle phalanx shows 

When the base phalanx of the Mercury finger (see plate 14, 4C) 
is long, look for eloquence and cunning; when it is short, a straight- 
forward, credulous nature. If this phalanx is thick, you have an indi- 
cation of sex complexes; thin, of a precise, analytical mind. 


The fingers, indicating as they do the special talents and aptitudes 
of the person you are studying, are most important in applying hand 
analysis to vocational guidance or training. The indications of the 
fingers must, however, be read in conjunction with the information 
revealed by the hand as a whole and by the lines and markings in 
the palm. For example, when a very long base on the finger of Mer- 


cury, the little finger, indicates eloquence and cunning, and you find 
that other signs show a timid, retiring nature, you may be sure you 
have a potential demagogue, but one who is likely to remain anony- 
mous, appealing through the written word, or possibly making no use 
at all of his gift of eloquence. Thus, the various contradictory evi- 
dences must be balanced against one another. You should accept as 
keynotes to the personality you are studying only the strong traits 
or those which are consistently indicated throughout the entire hand. 


WHEN Professor G. Elliot Smith identified the few fragments of 
bone which are all that remains of the Peking Man as definitely those 
of a very early human being, and not of an ape, he based his classifi- 
cation on the hand, especially the thumb. More than any other mem- 
ber, the thumb marks man as different from the beasts. If you want 
the secret of what distinguishes the leader, the creator, the successful 
and influential man from his fellows, likely as not, you will find that 
secret in his thumb. 

Notice how short and rigid are the thumbs on plate 17, showing 
handprints made by an anthropoid ape. In the hand of man, the 
thumb is opposable, that is, it can swing in an arc and touch every 
one of the other fingers. An ape's thumb cannot. Our manual dexter- 
ity, our ability to handle tools, to create, to build, to write, to guide 
fine instruments, we owe to our thumbs. 


The thumb, unlike the fingers which tell of specific talents, governs 
the general qualities of will, reason and appetites. Therefore, the 
thumb and fingers must be considered together, for the thumb will 



usually tell what use we put our gifts to. A large thumb strengthens 
the qualities of weak fingers, deficient in energy and practicality. It 
also emphasizes those qualities in a hand already having energy and 
will, perhaps to an extent which may be brutalizing. A large thumb 


adds quickness and determination to the practicality of short fingers. 
A small thumb negates the force of such hands. A large thumb is 
excellent with long fingers, for it bolsters their method and thought- 
fulness. A small thumb makes the long-fingered person fussy and 
irritable, conscious of small details but unwilling or unable to work 

Conic or pointed fingertips with a small thumb show artistic feel- 
ing but no creative power. Add a large thumb to such fingers, and you 
are likely to have a poet or artist. Large thumbs increase the power 
and energy of spatulate tips and give direction and purpose to square 
hands. Small thumbs always detract from the positive qualities of a 
hand, not so much by lessening the talents as by interfering with their 

The normal thumb, when held straight up along the side of the 



hand, should reach to about the middle of the index finger's base 
phalanx (see plate 18), and its second and third phalanx should be 
of equal size. 



Of course, the relative height of the thumb measured by the first 
finger differs with the setting of the thumb whether high or low on 
the hand. Often a low-set thumb, even when it is long, will reach only 
to the base of the first finger. 

The lower on the side of the hand the origin of the thumb, the 
greater the intelligence, as a rule. When the thumb is set low (see 
plate 19), it is able to move in a wide, sweeping arc, indicating a 
generous, liberty-loving, independent and sympathetic person. When 
the thumb is high-set (see plate 20), especially if it is held close to 
the hand, you will find a secretive, cautious and timid disposition. If 
the thumb is set very close to the hand and appears inflexible, you 


can expect meanness and suspicion; but if the other aspects of the 
hand are good, the close setting may indicate only lack of self- 
confidence, shyness and oversensitiveness. This is particularly so in 
persons who normally hide their thumbs in the half-closed palm. A 
medium setting of the thumb with free movement at the side of the 
hand indicates a person who is well balanced, neither extravagant 
nor mean, neither obstinate nor weak-willed ; frank, honest and loyal. 


In the thumb the three phalanxes have very specific significance 
the first (see plate 14, TH-A) governing will, the second (see plate 
14, TH-B) reason and logic, the base phalanx (see plate 14, TH-C) 
feeling and appetites. When the first, or will phalanx, is excessively 
developed, stiff and very much larger than the second phalanx, I have 
usually found an obstinate person with a violent temper and the 
need to impose his own will and desires on others. A more delicate 
tip on a highly-developed will-phalanx modifies its brutality with 
sensitiveness. A broad, spatulate tip increases the force, brutality 
and strength. A square tip gives us a very unimaginative, stubborn 
person, a fanatic in his own narrow way. 

When the will-phalanx is too short in proportion to the rest of the 
thumb, we can expect weak will, a person easily influenced by others 
and falling for every temptation. A pointed or tapering end on a 
short will-phalanx indicates almost hopeless weakness. A forceful 
tip on a short will-phalanx diminishes the weakness. 


The second thumb phalanx (see plate 14, TH-B) governs per- 
ception, judgment and reasoning powers. If long, it gives the ability 
to plan to make decisions, to use sound judgment. When a long sec- 
ond phalanx is combined with a short will-phalanx, you find a person 
who can make intricate plans but falls short in their execution. On 
the other hand, a deficient phalanx of reason with strong will, leads 
to action which may often be foolish or misapplied. Waisted forma- 


tion of the phalanx of reason goes with an ability to make fine dis- 


The base phalanx of the thumb (see plate 14, TH-C) governs af- 
fection and the senses. When this section is long, these attributes are 
strong, and, if the phalanx is at the same time thin, the passions will 
be under control. Fleshiness in this portion of the hand indicates self 
indulgence, egotism, love of domination, and a tendency to exploit 
others. A normal development of the thumb's base phalanx gives us 
well-balanced control, an affectionate disposition, and a sense of fair- 


There are many very distinct variations in the shape of the thumb. 
With the elementary hand, we usually find an almost shapeless 
thumb, heavy, short and coarse. With this thumb, we will usually 
discover little intelligence or control, and a coarse brutality. 



The club-shaped thumb (see plate 21) has a heavy, ball-shaped 
will-phalanx, thick and round, with a short nail of rough texture. This 
shape assures tremendous obstinacy and, in a hand which is otherwise 


of low grade, a violent temper. Because of its association with vio- 
lence, the club-shaped thumb has been called the "murderer's thumb," 
though of course it does not actually indicate a murderer. In fact, 
the violent characteristics linked to it may be completely submerged 
and never given expression. 

In nervous persons, I have often found the thumb quite flat, as 
though spread out by a weight and usually soft and flabby in texture. 

A thumb which has a broad structure and firm, healthy texture 
tells of determination backed by aggressiveness and physical strength. 
I have frequently found thumbs of this type on the hands of highly 
successful men. 

When the will-phalanx is broad on the nail side and spread out 
into a paddle-like shape (see plate 22), you have strong determina- 
tion, which, if over-developed, becomes tyranny and obstinacy. The 
paddle shape gives strength even if the phalanx is flat from front to 
back, though in that case the strength may be only mental control 
with low physical endurance. 

A very long and slender thumb indicates sensitiveness, accom- 
panied by great power of will, excellent reasoning ability, and in- 
tuitional understanding. 

The ideal for a normal hand is, of course, a thumb of normal length 
and thickness, well-shaped and evenly proportioned. It shows strength 
of will as well as the capacity for logical reasoning. With such a 
thumb, you will find diplomacy, firmness, intelligence, and discrimi- 


The flexibility of the thumb, almost as much as its shape, tells 
the character of its possessor. A stiff joint (see plate 23) which holds 
the thumb in a straight line and close to the hand indicates prac- 
ticality, caution, reliability and materialism. When the texture and 
shape of a stiff thumb are coarse, these qualities degenerate to crass- 

A flexible thumb (see plate 24), bending outward at the joint, 
shows an extravagant, open-hearted, adventurous nature. Emotional 
exuberance, brilliant social qualities, adaptability and wit go with 

PALM 33 

this supple thumb. To make for happiness, these fortunate qualities 
should, however, be checked by practicality and self-reliance. 

In studying a hand, always balance the indications of the thumb 
with the traits shown by the fingers and palm. A strong thumb on a 
sensitive, weak hand may supply the force needed to bring complete 
realization of the self. A weak thumb may negate all the gifts of a 
brilliant personality. 

Chapter IV. THE PALM 

THE palm itself, its shape and consistency, aside from the markings 
upon it, tells much about the person whose hand you are studying. 
Development of the hand, which is the instrument of the brain, is 
dependent on all the biological and chemical factors which also de- 
termine the personality. Studies of the ductless glands have given us 
some understanding of the complicated chemistry governing human 
energy, sex, and nervous reactions, from the simplest reflex to in- 
volved inhibitions and neuroses. 

This same machinery of nerve communication and glandular secre- 
tions, which decides the weight, height and nervous and muscular 
responses of the individual, also determines the development of the 
hand. From studying a large number of hands, I have been able to 
associate particular types of palmar structure with specific character- 

For example, the consistency of the hand tells much about the 
individual. A firm, full, elastic palm, warm and alive to the touch, 
indicates a person who is active, well-directed, alive. Flabbiness shows 
a phlegmatic disposition, to which action comes with an effort. If 
the palm is at the same time both flabby and covered with minute 
lines, you may be sure that the subject dissipates his energies in 
nervous reactions. If the palm is thick, flabby and soft, indolence, 
whether physical or mental, is indicated, and the fleshier such a soft 
hand, the greater will be the love of ease and luxury. 


When the palm is thin and narrow, you can expect a narrow^ 
timid individual, lacking mental ability and moral force. A person 
with this sort of palm is likely to be shallow and selfish. When the 
fingers on a narrow palm are long, tyranny on a small scale re- 
stricted to personal relations is indicated. A palm with high emi- 
nences shows a warm, responsive nature. A flat surface usually goes 
with intellectual interests. 

If the palm is in good proportion to the fingers, about the same in 
length and width, and if it is even in shape, firm, though not hard, it 
shows a well-balanced, receptive mind, control of the emotions, in- 
telligent use of the talents. When the palm is overdeveloped in rela- 
tion to the fingers, I have usually found the individual over-confident 
and egocentric. If the palm's development is especially heavy at the 
base, near the wrist, sensuality is indicated. A hand which is particu- 
larly heavy at the wrist and at the same time hard in consistency 
shows brutality unless a strong but sensitive thumb or an exception- 
ally good headline (see plate 27) negatives this indication. 


A hollow palm shows lack of aggressiveness and perseverance. It is 
frequently associated with misfortune. Undoubtedly, the lack of these 
qualities is the cause of much ill luck and for that reason poor de- 
velopment in the center of the hand must be regarded as an ill 
omen, no matter how favorable the rest of the hand may be. 

The depression in the center of the hand often lies in the direction 
of a particular line or section of the palm, and then it specifically 
relates to the faculties associated with the line, mount, or sign toward 
which the hollow inclines. When the hollow falls under the line of 
life, I have sometimes found it to be an indication of domestic 
troubles; when under the line of destiny, it is associated with dis- 
appointment in connection with one's career. 


The size of the hand as a whole is of extreme importance. The 
legend that large hands are capable, I have found from experience 

PALM 35 

to be little more than a superstition. Usually, a large hand, particu- 
larly if long-fingered, will be methodical and inclined towards detail 
work. But the hands which go with the conception of large projects, 
with the formulation of breath-taking plans, with discovery, daring 
and forceful execution, are comparatively small. Large hands need 
direction from others. Small hands supply the direction. 


Since most changes in the hand resulting from growth of the per- 
sonality and adjustment to circumstances manifest themselves in 
the palm, I am going to discuss the significance of the left and right 
hands in conjunction with the palm, rather than in connection with 
the hand as a whole. 

The right hand is the one to study in a right-handed person. That 
hand gives us a picture of the human being as he is. The left hand 
tells us what he might have been whether for better or worse. What 
the left hand pictures is a person's inheritance, the weaknesses, the 
strength, the talents and the lacks with which he was born. From 
the left hand we are able to judge a person's potentialities. From the 
right what he has created out of his potentialities. In a left-handed 
person, the significance of the two hands is of course reversed. 

This sort of knowledge is a weapon, and with knowledge of our 
weaknesses we may be able to overcome them. Here is one very great 
value in the message of the left hand. By pointing out the pitfalls 
into which we are likely to fall, it helps us to avoid them. 

In the right hand we see how far we have developed or dissipated 
our inherent endowments. Frequently you will find the two hands 
very different from each other. Sometimes, especially in hands with 
weak thumbs, you will see all the vices and pitfalls, the illnesses, the 
lacks hinted at in the hand of inheritance confirmed and magnified 
in the hand of actuality. In persons of strong will you find the oppo- 
site a tendency to flightiness bolstered by purpose, wayward emo- 
tions held in check by reason. 

It is therefore important, in studying the hands, to compare the 
general contours of the palms, the left with the right. Examine each 
of the mounts to see whether they differ in prominence in the two 


hands. Look with special care at the principal lines of the hands. Of 
all the hand's markings, the lines are the most sensitive to changes 
taking place in a person. As you grow or shrink in mental stature, 
your line of head will reflect the change. It will also register your 
mental health. I have seen hands in which a naturally vivid imagina- 
tion was allowed to atrophy until the right hand showed not a trace 
of this gift but, instead, had a level, extremely matter-of-fact line of 
head. The left hand, at the same time, retained a low-dipping line of 
head which testified to the original bent. 

The same applies to the line of heart. In persons who have had to 
repress affectionate responsiveness, I have often found the line of 
heart in the right hand growing faint and narrow, sometimes diverted 
out of its original course to show the influence of self-seeking instead 
of generosity. 

The line of destiny may, in the left hand, be almost destroyed by 
obstacles. But in the right hand it may be remade, showing the con- 
quest of difficulties by a strong person. Unfortunately, the reverse is 
just as often true. Failure to make use of natural gifts, wasted energy, 
misdirected ambitions leave their imprint in a broken or abruptly 
ended line of destiny. 

In any case, the message of the operative hand is never a static 
one. Comparison of the two hands tells us where we have gone astray 
from the path which would have been best for us, and it is thus pos- 
sible to correct our mistake. 

Of course, in a lefthanded person, the readings have to be reversed. 
Just what the cause of lefthandedness or ambidexterity is we do not 
know. It is, however, a recognized fact that the tendency to use one 
hand rather than the other is closely associated with the balance of 
the central nervous system. Changing the balance by forcing a nat- 
urally lefthanded person to use his right is likely to have disastrous 
results. Many speech defects are laid to interference with the natural 
dominance of one hand or the other. 

In children especially, nervous maladjustment, extreme shyness 
and slow perception result from trying to make them use the right 
hand when the left is the naturally operative. Formerly schools and 
parents tried to make left-handed youngsters learn penmanship and 
other manual arts with the right hand. Nowadays advanced educa- 


tors have learned that difficult behavior problems, secretiveness, lying, 
even stealing, result from such interference with nature's intentions. 
Parents and teachers should be especially careful about trying to 
icadjust a child's natural preference for one hand or the other. 


WHEN you look at the inner face of the palm, you do not see a flat 
surface, like a table top, but instead you find many small and large 
muscular swellings. If you study their formation carefully you will 
notice that there is such a pad under each finger and that there are 
others toward the wrist and in the center of the palm. 

These swellings are known as the mounts of the hand. The mounts 
under the fingers take their names from the individual fingers and in 
general share the qualities ascribed to their corresponding finger: 
thus, mount Jupiter lies under the index finger ; mount Saturn under 
the second finger; mount Apollo under the ring finger; and Mount 
Mercury under the finger of Mercury. The two mounts of Mars, 
known as Mars positive and Mars negative, are located under the 
mounts of Jupiter and Mercury, respectively. The large mounts at 
the base of the palm are Luna on the outer edge and Venus forming 
the base of the thumb. Plate 25 shows the positions of the mounts of 
the hand. 


The mount of Jupiter, underneath the first finger, indicates pride 
and ambition, the desire to dominate others. When mount Jupiter is 
well developed and the finger of Jupiter is dominant, you will find 
pride swollen into vanity and bluster. 



The Jupiterian one in whom the finger of Jupiter is dominant 
and the mount highly developed is frequently religious and derives 
great comfort from the pageantry and show of church worship. You 
will often find high dignitaries of the church among the children of 

Of course, the qualities of leadership which go with a strong finger 
of Jupiter can also find their expression in other fields. For example, 


given long spatulate- tipped fingers and a domineering thumb, your 
Jupiterian might well be a military conqueror, his qualities being 
orderliness and rigidity, ambition, energy and daring, and a desire to 
dominate others. 



The mount of Saturn under the second finger signifies seriousness, 
thought, and prudence, especially in money matters. I have rarely 
seen very strong development of this mount together with a strong 
finger of Saturn. In fact, the mount is sometimes depressed when the 
finger shows strength. However, even when the mount is not very 
prominent, a person may still be classified as a Saturnian if the sec- 
ond finger is dominant. 

When the Saturn finger has slender, waisted phalanxes, the 
thoughtful mind is accentuated. Credulity will be reduced to a mini- 
mum, and you have a critical, skeptical, analytical brain. The 
Saturnian distrusts others until he has satisfied himself of their mo- 
tives. Consequently, he is usually an individualist, undertaking busi- 
ness enterprises by himself and disliking unnecessary social contacts. 
This is fortunate for the others as much as for himself, because the 
Saturnian is dour and pessimistic, a wet blanket on the exuberance 
of those who have a different temperament. 

The thrift which characterizes the Saturnian is exaggerated into 
meanness and miserliness if the lowest (material) phalanx is strong- 
est. And if the heart line is unstable and the tip of a dominant Saturn 
finger unusually sensitive, you have a morbid cast to the thoughts 
with a tendency toward self-criticism and despondency. 


The mount of Apollo, like the mount of Jupiter, shows ambition, 
but it is a more highly specialized ambition for renown and admira- 
tion. This finger and mount have almost the exact opposite connota- 
tion from that of Saturn. The Apollonian looks for success and self- 
realization through other people. He is gay, sociable, worldly, emo- 
tional. He is a lover of beauty, though not a creator of it. 

When the third finger is excessively long and the mount well de- 
veloped, impulsiveness is exaggerated to the point of rashness, and 
the owner of such a hand is likely to be fascinated by gambling. A 


long space between the base of the thumb and of the first finger 
emphasizes this tendency still further. 

The Apollonian may be an excellent business man. For confirma- 
tion, look to a long middle phalanx on the Apollo finger, and a good 
line of head. Likely as not, this type of Apollonian will display his 
love of drama, beauty and color in some way through his business 

The bad qualities of the mount and finger of Apollo predominate 
if the finger is crooked, or if the mount or base phalanx is excessively 
developed in comparison with the other two. Then the subject will be 
vain, boastful, reckless, and perhaps sexually vicious or dissolute. 
But, on the whole, the mount of Apollo introduces optimism and 
gaiety into life, acting an an antidote to the heaviness of Saturn. 


Quickness is the quality most associated with the mount of Mer- 
cury under the fourth finger. The Mercurian has a keen, almost 
intuitive mind, especially if the Apollo mount is at the same time 
fairly well developed. He is exceedingly shrewd, and, if he has a bad 
hand, or if the finger itself is twisted or shows only worldly tenden- 
cies, his active brain is likely to hatch cunning schemes for the 
exploitation of his fellows. The Mercurian is never a brutally vicious 
type, but rather a gyp artist or con man, shyster lawyer or promoter 
of fraudulent enterprises. If all the fingers are crooked with a highly 
developed mount of Mercury, you have definite indication of a crim- 
inal type of mind. 

Unlike the Saturnian, whose analytical mind finds difficulty in ex- 
pressing itself, the Mercurian is gifted with an easy flow of words. He 
makes an excellent trial lawyer, a brilliant advocate, though more 
likely moved to speak by ambition than by devotion to the cause he 
is championing. 


The Mount of Luna, at the base of the palm on its outer side, 
governs the imagination and intuition. Good development of this 



mount plus directed energy are necessary to transform the Apol- 
lonian, with his appreciation of art, into the creator. And, with a 
well developed finger and mount of Mercury, a prominent mount 
of Luna gives promise of creative ability to writers of fiction and 

The kind of fingertips and thumb combined with a well-developed 
mount of Luna are extremely important, for, with a weak, over- 
sensitive hand, the imagination is wasted in dreaming. When practi- 
cality is lacking, the mount of Luna may lead to activity, but of 
a fantastic nature, such as the designing of machines of perpetual 
motion, to choose an extreme example. 

To judge whether mount Luna is well developed, examine its 
bulge both along the side of the hand and upward from the surface of 
the palm. A well-rounded curve on the outer edge of the hand indi- 
cates good development. If the mount is both outcurving and high, 
the mount of Luna can be classed as very strong. (See plate 26.) 
Vertical lines on this mount add to its strength. Crosswise mark- 
ings weaken it, or indicate defects such a morbid trend to the imag- 

Mount Luna should always be studied in connection with the line 
of head, for any inclination of the headline downwards, towards 
the mount of Luna, shows the influence of imagination in the think- 
ing. In addition, signs of mental disturbances found on the line of 


head are often repeated or explained by the mount of Luna. Where 
the development of Luna is excessive, you can expect mental or emo- 
tional unbalance, or both. 


The mount of Venus is at the base of the thumb bounded by the 
arc of the life line. This mount indicates both the vitality and gen- 
eral health of the subject and the nature of his affections. When you 
have a well-developed, prominent swelling on the mount of Venus, 
you may be sure of a generous, warm-hearted, lively personality with 
strong amorous instincts. Attractiveness for the opposite sex almost 
always goes with a well-developed mount of Venus, and health, 
optimistic spirits, gaiety and love of music are other attributes which 
belong to this type. 

If the mount of Venus is overdeveloped, particularly at its base 
close to the wrist, the animal instincts and passions predominate. 
Their expression, however, is a natural one, and neither vicious nor 


The mount of Mars is the most difficult of all to study, for it is 
made up of three sections: Mars positive under Jupiter, above the 
mount of Venus; Mars negative under Mercury, above the mount 
of Luna; and the plain of Mars in the center of the palm (see plate 
25). Each of these divisions has its own significance, though the 
characteristics of Mars as a whole are courage and aggressiveness. 

Mars positive, near the thumb, is the most pugnacious, spirited 
section. Its bravery is the courage of the soldier and adventurer, 
which is largely physical. Mars negative, horizontally on a level 
with the positive Mars, but on the opposite side of the palm, is the 
courage of resistance. It may find expression physically, or through 
great moral stamina. A person with both these mounts well devel- 
oped will push himself over all obstacles and never give in to defeat. 

A prominent development of the plain of Mars emphasizes the 
traits of both Mars negative and positive. In addition, especially 


when the plain is crossed by many horizontal lines, it indicates vio- 
lent temper. The combination becomes dangerous when there is very 
high development of all three portions, as temper is then immediately 
translated into physical violence. A strong thumb and line of head 
are needed to curb the impetuosity of this combination. 

The triple mount of Mars has greater importance than merely to 
indicate courage or the lack of it, for when Mars in all its aspects 
is deficient, the subject is extremely weak, defeated in life even 
before he begins. If the morbid tendencies of Saturn are highly 
developed, and you find signs of an introspective imagination to- 
gether with a failure in Mars, then you have a typical would-be sui- 

Apart from their significance in themselves, the mounts of the 
hand are important in relation to the lines of the palm. Deflections 
of the line of head or heart, for example, toward any one of the 
mounts, show the influence of that mount over the faculty with 
which the line is associated. For that reason, it is extremely impor- 
tant that a serious student of the hands be acquainted with th^ 
attributes allied to the mounts. 


IN the superstitious, fortune-telling uses of palmistry, the lines of 
the hand are regarded as a sort of key to the future, the various di- 
rections and signs being given somewhat arbitrary significance. This 
point of view I have entirely discarded. I have found no basis at all 
in my studies of thousands of hands for the declaration that given 
signs definitely foretell events in the lives of men and women. 

What I have found is that the human hand, connected to the brain 
by thousands of sensory and motor nerves, registers on its surface a 
kind of summary of all the messages which pass through the brain. 
Thus, the hand gives us an index to the personality. 

There is another notion I wish to dispel. The amateur in chirology 


is usually of the impression that activity makes for many minute 
lines. This is incorrect. Undirected and wasted nervous energy cause 
those myriad purposeless little lines which weave over the surface of 
some hands. The man or woman whose activity is purposeful and 
useful usually has a few, well-defined markings telling the entire 
story. But the marked absence of lines is indication, not of concen- 
tration in activity, but of a phlegmatic temperament on which 
events make little impression. 

Let it be perfectly clear that I claim no powers of prophetic hand 
analysis, and also that I do not believe such powers exist. It is true 
that I have on occasion made predictions about certain persons 
which have, with amazing accuracy, been realized. My explanation 
of this phenomenon is that, given complete understanding of all the 
factors in a situation, one can foresee a probability which is tanta- 
mount to almost certain prediction. Of course, in considering only 
the factors of a personality we do not allow for the action of outside 
circumstances which do not show in the hand until after they have 
made an impact on the personality. But we can judge with great 
accuracy what that impact will be on a person whom we completely 

When, therefore, I speak of danger of one kind or another threat- 
ening a person, I mean danger to which the weakness of that par- 
ticular individual leaves him open. Such a danger may even be 
evaded through the use of more complete understanding gained from 
the study of the hand. 

One of the most striking evidences supporting the claims of 
chirology to some share in the name of science is the fact that 
hands do change. No line or sign is at any time immutable. As the 
person to whom the hand belongs undergoes certain experiences, or 
changes his attitude, his ambitions, his thoughts; so do his hands 
register those changes. 


Now, as to the lines themselves. They should be well-marked 
and pinkish in color. A reddish line indicates an active, energetic 
and sanguinary disposition. Pale lines go with delicate health and 



1. The line of life 

2. The line of head 

3. The line of heart 

4. The line of destiny 

5. The line of Apollo 

6. The lines of sex 


7. The lines of health or 


8. The lines of intuition 

9. The girdle of Venus 

10. The line of vitality 

11. The bracelets 

12. The lines of travel 

13. The lines of fertility 

14. The via Lascivia 

15. The ring of Solomon 

16. The ring of Saturn 


lack of energy. Lines which are very dark show a melancholy, 
brooding temperament, vengeful and unforgiving. 

The principal lines of the hand are shown in plate 27. They are 
seven in number: first, the line of life which bounds the mounts of 
Venus and Mars positive (see number 1 on plate 27); second, the 
line of head (number 2) which begins on the inner side of the palm 
and runs across it; third, the line of heart or emotions, pursuing a 
path across the hand above that taken by the line of head; fourth, 
the line of fate or destiny, which ascends the palm of the hand from 
the wrist towards the finger of Saturn; fifth, the line of sun or bril- 
liance, which follows a path roughly parallel to that taken by the 
line of destiny, directing itself towards the base of the Apollo 
finger; sixth, the lines of marriage or sexual influence, which are 
short, horizontal lines on the outer edge of the palm under the 
little finger; and last, the line of health or Hepatica, which runs up 
the hand at an angle, ascending from the line of life toward the 
mount of Mercury. In addition, there are a number of minor lines in 
the hand. 

All the lines are not always present in every hand, and their ab- 
sence is frequently of even greater significance than is their presence. 


The continuity of line is of great significance. Breaks (see plate 
28 for examples of the formations cited in this and the following 
paragraph) in any line mean an obstruction, sometimes overcome, 
if they are healed by squares or supported by other strengthening 
influences. Unevenness in the line shows just that in the attribute 
variability. Fine lines are often seen branching out from the main 
lines and usually show a weakening of the main pathway, indicating 
uncertainty. Such small branches are known as splits. If a split is 
directed towards a particular mount, it means that the subject is in- 
fluenced by the attributes of that particular mount. The branching 
line often throws an interesting light on the main tendencies, telling 
about anything from a moment's diversion to a serious change in 
the direction of one's life. 

Sister lines, that is lines running independently but parallel to a 


main line, add strength. But a sister line should not be confused 
with the island, which may run parallel to a main line for some dis- 
tance, but is attached to it at either end, thus forming a sort of en- 
closure. An island very much weakens the main line at the point 
where it makes its appearance. Chained formations, dots, many 



crossed lines all react adversely on the primary line, and I shall 
discuss them in relation to the particular lines wherever they have 
special significance. 

The best lines are clear, deep, without breaks or interfering mark- 
ings of any kind. Very broad lines show more muscular strength than 
will power; while a deep, thin line holds up better under strain. 




Using the main lines of the hand as guidemarks, we are able to 
compute time and age on the hand. Thus the approximate date asso- 
ciated with breaks, periods of restlessness and dissatisfaction, shifts 


in occupation, can all be calculated from the hand. The only date 
which does not show is that which gives the subject's age. 

The method of approximating dates in the hand is simple. Divide 
the maximum length possible for the line of life, the headline, the 
heartline and the line of destiny each into periods of seven as shown 
in plate 29. This is a very natural division since important physical 
changes in human beings are supposed to occur within cycles of 
seven years. Other markings on the hand can be related to this 
scheme by drawing radial lines from mount Venus through the seven 
divisions on the line of life and extending those imaginary radial 
lines to whatever event you wish to place in time. This, too, is shown 
in plate 29. To estimate the probable length of life, add the number 
of periods in these four principal lines of the hand the lines of 
head, heart, destiny and life and divide your total by four. 

Of course, markings which are fixed in their place will have their 
own time scheme pertaining to them alone. For example, the mar- 
riage lines are figured within the confines of the space which they 
occupy, not in accordance with the plan of the whole hand, but this 
is explained in greater detail in my discussion of the marriage lines 


THE line of life (see plate 27, number 1) bounds the mounts of 
Venus and Mars positive, fencing in the entire region about the base 
of the thumb. Its beginning is under the finger of Jupiter, its end 
in most cases under the mount of Venus, at the wrist. This line, 
according to the older theories of palmistry, was supposed to indi- 
cate longevity and the times when disease or danger threatened. 

This I have found to be an extremely literal interpretation of the 
lifeline's actual function, which is to give an index of your health. 



1 have seen hands in which an actual break or even the ending of 
the line of life has not been followed by any dire results. Strong 
lines of the head and heart and a good thumb often overcome the 
indications of weakness in the line of Iife 7 and to conclude that a 
person's life is actually in danger at any given period, the hand 
analyst must look for confirmation in other parts of the hand. The 
clearest sign of departure from this life is the stopping of all the 
principal lines at the same date. 

If the line of life is made up of little pieces, broken, or linked to- 
gether, vitality is weak, often because of poor digestive functioning. 

When the line of life commences high under the first finger the 
subject will be ambitious and well controlled, directing his energies 
to the attainment of his ambitions. A lower origin shows the opposite. 
The usual point at which the line of life begins is about halfway be- 
tween the thumb and the base of the index finger. 

The line of life may also vary in its termination. If it swerves 
toward the mount of Luna on the opposite side of the hand (see 
plate 30), it indicates a restless nature which may lead to wide travel 




and residence and death in a foreign land. The sudden termination 
of the line of life, marked by a star or cross, shows the threat 
of sudden death or accident, especially if other signs in the hand 
bear out this warning. 

If the line of life arcs far out into the hand (see plate 31), en- 
larging the space occupied by the mount of Venus, you will find a 


warm, generous and sympathetic nature; if Venus is constricted 
into a narrow space (see plate 32), you are likely to find a cold 
and selfish one. 


THE line of head (see plate 27, number 2), showing mental balance, 
control, interests, depth, and concentration, is one of the most im- 
portant lines of the hand. Its normal position lies in a course across 
the palm, about midway between the wrist and the base of the 
fingers. This line requires very careful study, for its most minute 
variations are of significance. Particularly should the two hands be 
compared as to their headlines; for early training, environment, 
and the effects of outside circumstances on the mental characteris- 
tics of a person often outweigh the influence of heredity. The right 
hand, of course, indicates our composite personality, the left, our 
natural endowments. If you are lefthanded, the reverse will be the 
case, for the left hand is then the operative one. 

First, study the quality of the line. The best headline is clear, 
reddish in color and deep. With such a line, you can expect the ability 
to concentrate, sound judgment, a good memory, and vigorous, keen 
thought. A broad, shallow line indicates less precision and sureness, 
but, though the mind may be less penetrating, it is not necessarily 
less purposeful. It is the chained line (see plate 28) which shows 
flightiness and lack of concentration. 

Often you will find a line which varies in quality through its 
length. In that case, the mental abilities will differ at various periods 
of life. Sometimes the cause of such variation will be apparent in 
other signs of the hand. The life line may, for example, show a seri- 
ous illness at the time the line of head is of inferior quality, or the 
line of heart may indicate emotional unbalance for a period. 



A broken line is always unfortunate. In the headline, a break 
shows impairment or interference with thinking and memory. 
When there are dots or islands at the termination of a break, the 
injury is the more serious. If the break is repaired by a square, or 
bridged by a sister line running parallel to the main line and close 
by it, the ill effects of whatever is responsible for the break may be 
largely discounted. Refer back to plate 28 for examples of these 
variations in a line. 

The course of the line of head is often altered by small rises or 
deflections downwards. For example, it may arch upwards under the 
middle finger. In that case, the qualities associated with the mount 
of Saturn and the Saturn finger seriousness, thoughtfulness, pru- 
dence in money matters are a strong influence on the thought pat- 
terns. If the rise in the headline occurs towards the finger of Apollo, 
then the artistic sensibilities, lightness and gaiety of Apollo must be 
connected with the line's change in direction. As a rule, small dips 
in the line of head are considered signs of depression, rising arches, 
signs of good spirits or of an uplifting influence. 

The most usual place of origin for the line of head coincides with 
the beginning of the line of life (see plate 33), the two lines being 
joined together for a short distance. This indicates caution, timidity 




and dependence on others at the beginning of life. The earlier the 
two lines separate, the sooner will self-reliance be manifested. 

When the line of head begins inside the line of life (see plate 34), 
the negative qualities associated with the first position are very much 
exaggerated. In a person with this formation, you find very little 


self-confidence. You will find nervous apprehensions inflated into 
phobias. You will see a person who is supersensitive, always looking 
for slights, lacking control. A person with a headline beginning in 
this position is very often a solitary individual, not necessarily by 
inclination, but because he is too timid to dare the criticism of his 
fellows and the give and take which social contacts entail. 

A line of head beginning about midway between the origin of the 
line of life and the base of the first finger (see plate 35) is a strong 
indication of well-balanced, independent headwork. Such a line shows 
self-confidence without conceit, an energetic, daring mind, not bound 
to pathways followed by conventional thinkers. With such a head- 
line, there is usually strong ambition and the mental clarity needed 
to realize that ambition. Of course, the quality of the line itself will 
modify the indications of its position, but, on the whole, a headline 
with this origin is strong augury of success. 

When the space between the line of life and the headline is wid- 
ened, and the latter begins high up on the side of the hand near the 
base of the first finger (see plate 36), the quality of self-reliance is 
turned to recklessness. A person with his headline beginning so close 
to the finger of Jupiter is too conceited to listen to the counsel of 
others, too impatient to base his actions on careful judgment. He is a 
gambler, thoughtless of consequences, careless of his actions' effect 
on others. When this high headline is short, a jealous temperament 
is also shown. 

Usually the line of head commences at the edge of the hand. One 
exception to this position is found in the line which leaves a slight 
margin at the side and commences under the finger of Jupiter (see 
plate 37). Strong ambition will motivate the thinking of a person 
with this kind of headline. Usually a headline having this origin is 
good in quality, and there is every probability of fulfilling the ambi- 
tion unless a weak thumb and generally forceless hand gainsay its 

The course followed by the line of head and its termination must 
be read in conjunction with the origin. A straight, even path (see 
plate 33) denotes good mental balance, excellent control, and a mind 
which is neither too taken up with fantasy nor too restricted by 
small, practical considerations. A straight course will do much to 



counteract the weakness implied by an origin coinciding with the 
line of life and will to some extent reduce the timidity and oversen- 
sitiveness of a headline which begins inside the space enclosed by 
the line of life. With a headline which starts outside the line of life, 


a straight, even course is a brilliant indication. Its balance will even 
somewhat counteract the recklessness of a line starting too high on 
the hand. 

When the line of head points in a downward direction or ends in 
a sharp curve towards the mount of Luna (see plates 34 and 35), the 
faculties of imagination and fantasy, represented by that mount, 
will govern the mind. In a weak hand, one lacking will and force, 


one in which the origin of the line of head shows excessive timidity, 
this direction is unpromising. It gives us the dreamer, the introspec- 
tive builder of castles in the air, the conqueror of non-existent em- 
pires. But, when there is sufficient strength to use the gift of creative 
imagination, a headline dipping onto Luna is the mark of the artist, 
the writer, the discoverer, the man or woman who is not afraid to 
venture beyond the realms of known fact. The best combination with 
a headline descending onto Luna is one which begins outside the line 
of life, but not too high on the side of the hand (see plate 35). 
The worst is a headline commencing inside the line of life (see plate 
34), for with so little mental balance and self-confidence, there is 
always danger that a strongly imaginative person will take refuge 
completely in his land of make-believe, becoming the victim of de- 
lusions and fancies. A star at the termination of a headline of this 
character is even stronger indication of insanity, especially when the 
quality of the line is also poor chained or much broken up. 

A headline which curves up towards Mercury (see plate 37) shows 
a practical mind, taken up with the problems of business and ma- 
terial existence. On a narrow hand this line will indicate an exces- 
sively humdrum man of affairs, concerned with nothing but material 
success, very positive and bigoted in his opinions. On a broad, active 
hand, it still does not show great liberality of mind, but at least it 
does not reveal a narrow-minded fanatic. It will indicate a person 
who looks at material things in a broader perspective, though one 
who is impatient of things which are not of immediate utility. 

When there is a sort of double curve in the line of head, first down 
and then up, like the letter "S" (see plate 38), you have a person 
with complete coordination of the mental and muscular processes, in 
other words, an athlete. I found this double curve in the headlines of 
persons as diverse in their general makeup as William Tilden, Babe 
Ruth, Spencer Tracy, Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey and Helen Wills 
Moody. One thing they all have in common the wonderful control 
of their muscular reactions which made them champion athletes. 

A forked headline (see plate 39), one ending in two or more 
branches, may mean one of two things, depending on the strength 
of the hand. In a strong hand, the added branch gives versatility. 
For example, a straight headline with a branch descending onto the 


mount of Luna will show the soundly balanced judgment and clear 
reasoning power of the straight line plus imagination. In a weak 
hand, such a forking results in uncertainty and vacillation. 

The general position of the line of head is also of significance. 
If the line is very high, thus overshadowing the line of heart, you 
have a strongly rational being whose emotions are completely con- 
trolled by his mind. When, on the other hand, the line of heart 
is placed low, close to the line of head, mental balance will be more 
precarious, subject to the vagaries of the emotions. 


THE line of heart (see plate 27, number 3), running across the palm 
above the line of head, shows emotional steadfastness and intensity. 
This line must be read in conjunction with the indications of the 
hand as a whole and particularly in relation to the line of head. 

The quality of the heartline is of course significant. As with all the 
other lines of the hand, its best formation is a clear, deep drawing, 
neither too broad nor too narrow, and of good color. A line which is 
uniformly of this character, throughout its entire length, will show 
strong, consistent affections, loyalty, sympathy and balance. 

If the heartline is thin, your subject will be self-centered and cold. 
This lack of feeling is likely to be combined with a narrow-minded, 
conventional attitude. The line must, however, be thin in relation to 
the other lines of the hand to make this interpretation a correct one. 

A broad, shallow line of heart discloses affections easily given and 
as easily withdrawn inconsistency, changeableness. Fickleness of 
a different sort is indicated by a deeply chained line of heart. With 
such, there may be great intensity but still no reliability. The person 
with a deep, chained line of heart meets this one-and-only love every 


other day, feels the world reborn and then dying through the course 
of each affair, and is immediately off to the next. 

Lines cutting across the line of heart tell of worries and obstacles 
in the course of true love. In its path across the hand, the line of 
heart may give off many small branches or splits. Splits rising from 
the heart line towards any one of the mounts show the attraction of 
the mount's characteristics over the affections of the subject. For ex- 
ample, a person with many little hairlines rising from the line of 
heart toward the mount of Apollo will be much attracted by someone 
in whom the artistic sensibility and gaiety of the Apollonian pre- 
dominate. Lines falling from the line of heart towards the line of 
head show conflict between judgment and the emotions, often also 
disappointments in love. 

Of course, in studying the character of the line of heart, we must 
look at it in segments. The line frequently changes its nature a 
number of times during its course across the hand. In such case, the 
emotional vagaries associated with a particular type of line apply 
only to the period of life spanned by that section of the line. A 
naturally affectionate person may, because of uncongenial surround- 
ings, become extremely self-contained and apparently cold, only to 
flower out into sympathetic warmth on receiving understanding. 

As with the line of head, the origin of the heartline is of great 
significance. The line of heart may start anywhere from the very 
edge of the palm to a position more than halfway across the hand. 
If it begins far out at the edge (see plate 40), you have an emo- 
tional extremist, blindly enthusiastic in love, submerging every other 
ambition and desire in his intense emotionalism, losing all reason 
and balance. The nature of the line will show whether a person is 
given to periodic emotional extravagances or combines constancy with 
intensity. In either case, his emotional abandon is likely to bring 
grief, for he follows the dictates of his feelings without regard to the 
cautionings of his mind. 

A line of heart beginning under the finger of Jupiter (see plate 41) 
still gives us the idealist in love, one who sentimentalizes both his 
affections and the object of them, but this position does allow a 
measure of control. With this heartline, constancy is likely to be an 
outstanding trait, for its bearer is almost as well satisfied with the 



shadow of romance as with the actuality and will console himself 
with an ideal if the reality fades. A forked beginning on Jupiter in- 
creases the sentimentality. 

When the line of heart originates betwen the first and second 
fingers (see plate 42), we have the realist in love who combines 

practicality with his affections. Such a person is likely to be cautious 
in his choice of those he loves, but warmly devoted after he has come 
to a decision. He will coordinate ambition with love and will be 
strongly held by family ties. 

A line of heart rising from the mount of Saturn (see plate 43) 
indicates the sensualist, a person whose love is more passionate than 
sentimental or affectionate. This will be particularly true if the 


mount of Venus is well developed at its base and pink or red in color. 

When the line of heart begins in a three-pronged fork, one branch 
under Jupiter, one under Saturn and the middle branch between 
the two fingers (see plate 44), it shows a balanced union of idealism, 
practicality and passion and usually indicates that the heart is the 
dominant factor in the personality. With this forked origin on the 
heartline, a strong line of head and a well-developed thumb are 
needed to keep the individual from being submerged in his emotions. 

The line of heart varies in its termination as well as in its begin- 
ning. Should it cross the hand completely, from one side to the 
other (see plate 40), the strength of the emotions is increased, giv- 
ing us a person who is buffeted and torn by his feelings. Such a per- 
son will be jealous and possessive, especially if the plain of Mars 
shows excessive development. 

A termination of the line of heart directed upwards towards any 
of the mounts shows unusually strong influence and attraction from 
persons having the attributes of those mounts. A downward bend at 
the end of the line of heart gives the affections dominion over rea- 
son. When the heart line actually cuts through the line of head 
(see plate 43), you may look for serious mental disturbance as a 
result of emotional instability. 

Sometimes you find only one line in a hand instead of two sep- 
arate lines, one governing the head and one the heart. Even when this 
line is placed high in the hand, in the normal position for the line of 
heart, it must be considered as the line of head, not of heart. I have 
encountered this formation only rarely and always in the hands of 
men who had an unchangeable intensity of purpose, an overwhelm- 
ing, directed ambition. Sir Basil Zaharoff, the munitions king and 
merchant of death, had this single combined head-and-heart line, 
and so had Andrew Mellon, the American financier. 



THE line of destiny or Saturn (see plate 27, number 4), tells the 
plan of life, and whether that plan will be easily fulfilled or meet 
with many obstacles. When the destiny line is deep, clear and with- 
out interfering cross markings, you may expect a career pursued with 
determination and leading to success. It is true that I have oc- 
casionally found hands in which this line was entirely lacking, but 
such instances are rare. When there was no line of destiny, I have 
found my subject one who has made his own way in life, entirely 
unassisted by friends, influence or luck, except as those aids were 
brought into play through the man's own ingenuity. 

The strength of a happy augury is much diminished if the Saturn 
line is very broad, pale and shallow, much more so than the other 
markings in the hand. In that case, you may be sure that natural 
talents were wasted and energy applied much too haphazardly to 
realize the hand's full promise. When the line is very thin and light, 
it indicates a lack of forcefulness which interferes with success. 

Breaks in the line of destiny show some obstacle in the career 
sufficiently strong to interrupt it. If the break is healed over by a 
square, or carried by a sister line paralleling the broken line of 
destiny , the interruption will be less serious, the obstacle overcome. 
Sometimes, the line of destiny takes up an entirely new course after 
a break, showing that the interference has directed you into new 
endeavors. Whether the change is to your benefit is shown by the 
quality of the line, both before and after the break. Should the line 
be stronger and clearer when it resumes its course, your new career 
will be more promising than the abandoned one. 

Frequently, I find the line of destiny cut by either the line of 
head or the line of heart, sometimes both, with marked breaks oc- 
curring at the crossing. When the interference comes from the line 



of head, you may be sure that some mistake in judgment has caused 
your life's work to be interrupted. If the line of head actually stops 
the Saturn line in its ascent (see plate 45), poor judgment has in- 
deed seriously blocked your chances of success. Such ill omens are, 
however, not permanent unless you allow yourself to be discouraged 
by them. I have observed fate lines, thus stopped, begin a new 




growth as courage returned and the person tried to build another 
career. Sometimes, the new line is of much better quality than the 
one which ended so ominously. 

Interference with the line of Saturn from the line of heart shows 
emotional unbalance to be the cause of an upset. Here again, as in 
the case of hindrance from the line of head, the seriousness of the 
break must be judged both from the indications of healing which 
are present, such as a square or a parallel line, as well as from the 
course and strength of the line of Saturn after the break. 

The space between the lines of head and heart is frequently the 
least promising portion of the line of destiny. This period corre- 
sponds with the ages from about 30 to 45 years, often the most 
active of one's life. Whether or not you are able to overcome the 
vicissitudes and demands of this time of life is shown by the ter- 
minal of the Saturn line. If it resumes its course stronger than 
ever after having passed the line of heart, the middle years will 
serve to enrich your life and make success taste the sweeter. If the 
line of Saturn becomes wavery, thin and broken at its end, then the 
difficulties of this period will have proved too much. Again, how- 
ever, I want to remind you that the black and white differences 
which the old superstition of palmistry assigned to such marks can- 


not be accepted blindly. I have found hands which indicated ex- 
treme misfortune completely changed as their owners understood 
their difficulties and overcame them. 

All lines cutting across the line of Saturn weaken it, and their 
place of origin will usually explain their nature. Lines rising from the 
mount of Luna indicate that impractical, fantastic imagination is 
proving an obstacle; lines from the mount of Venus, that sloth and 
love of good living are interfering with a successful career. 

With one exception, the line of Saturn always ends on the mount 
of Saturn unless it is stopped before reaching that point. The ex- 
ception is a turn towards the mount of Jupiter, and its significance 
is that success will be due to ambition. The terminal on Saturn is a 
good one, showing logical fulfillment of the talents contained in the 

Lines running into the line of Saturn strengthen it, revealing the 
source of the strength they bring by their origin and direction. 

Though the line of Saturn does not vary much in its termination, 
it may begin from a number of places. Its most usual origin is from 
the center of the palm near the wrist. This origin is the normal 
one, showing that a person has taken his direction fairly early in 
life. When the line of destiny begins from the line of life (see plate 
46), a person's own efforts are largely responsible for whatever suc- 
cess he attains, and the higher on the line of life the beginning of the 
Saturn line, the later will success be achieved. 

The opposite is shown by a line of destiny originating on the 
mount of Luna (see plate 47). This shows the aid and influence of 
friends, relatives and family connections. If the line of destiny, be- 
ginning on the mount of Luna, later merges into the line of heart 
(see plate 47), this aid is likely due to a brilliant and most fortunate 
marriage, combining an ideal relationship with wealth and ease. 

A line of destiny beginning at the wrist and making its way 
straight and unbroken to the base of mount Saturn, without branches 
or influences of any kind along its entire length, marks a person out 
as a plaything of fate, tossed about by forces more powerful than 
he. With a star at both the origin and termination of a fate line of 
this character, you can also expect some awful, twisted kind of fame 
,or notoriety. 



THOUGH the line of Apollo (see plate 27, number 5) is accounted 
one of the major lines of the hand, it is not present in every hand, 
nor even in the majority. Yet, without it, the hand is a poor thing, 
promising hardship and struggle without assurance of success. The 
line of Apollo, which runs from the wrist towards the base of the 
third finger, is the line of luck or fortune. In many hands, this line 
is missing until quite late in life. After it puts in its appearance, 
the entire life becomes changed, assuming a more optimistic, easy 

Both the length of this line and its quality determine to what 
extent its force is operative. Defects in its structure greatly reduce 
its influence. Islands, for example, practically nullify its effect for 
the period represented by the malformation. Dots, to the extent that 
any sign can be so definitely associated with a single meaning, I 
have found connected with loss of reputation and notoriety. Breaks 
in the line show difficulties or interruptions to good fortune; cross 
bars, contrary influences. 

As to the line itself, the longer it is, the longer will good fortune 
last. Sometimes the line of Apollo acts as a sister line for that of 
Saturn, becoming stronger when the latter dims and itself fading 
when the line of Saturn gains strength. 

The line of Apollo always runs in the direction of the Apollo 
finger, though it may stop short of that goal. A firm line, clean and 
deep at its termination means success crowning the termination of 
your life. If the line loses strength or ends before reaching the mount 
of Apollo, the end of life will contain some disappointments, not 


necessarily reverses in business, loss of fortune or a bad outcome to 
your career, but possibly disappointments connected with your fam- 
ily, children, or others on whom your own happiness depends. Fading 
of the Apollo line towards its end may also show a change of dispo- 
sition to a more sombre hue, such as is characteristic of certain 
illnesses which afflict old age. 

If there is a sign at the end of the line, this must be considered 
in conjunction with the line. A dot, as in other portions of the line, 
shows loss of reputation. A deep bar cutting off the line indicates 
an insurmountable obstacle near the close of the life. Should the 
life line exhibit weakness at the age of about fifty, then such a bar is 
likely to be an illness or delicate health. A cross marking the termi- 
nation of the line of Apollo is often a sign of foolhardiness causing 
ill repute, and the line of head should be looked at carefully to see 
whether it bears out this indication of poor judgment. An island at 
the end of the Apollo line negatives much of the line's efficacy, tell- 
ing that life is likely to close under some sort of shadow, usually as- 
sociated with loss of wealth and reputation. 

These are the unfortunate signs on the line of Apollo. The more 
desirable ones are a square, a trident (see plate 48) and, above all, 
a star. With a star at the termination of the Apollo line, you have 
strong assurance of brilliant success. I have found this sign in the 
hands of financiers, writers, artists and statesmen, and in every case, 
these persons have felt themselves blessed by some kind of lucky 
fortune, something for which they themselves could not account, 
but which seemed to direct all their undertakings to fortunate con- 
clusions. The square is, as always, a healing mark, operating against 
all the defects of the line throughout its entire length. 

A forked ending is not altogether favorable. It shows a diversity 
of talents which may, if concentration and determination are lack- 
ing, lead to dissipation of your endowments. But when the fork 
assumes the shape of a well-marked trident, this is almost as for- 
tunate as a star because it indicates wealth and celebrity achieved 
through mental efforts. The star is less specific in its promise, but 
is frequently associated in some way with the arts or the theater. 

The Apollo line may, near its end, branch off to mount Saturn or 
Mercury. In such case, add the wisdom of Saturn or the shrewdness 






and business judgment of Mercury to the brilliance of Apollo. Other 
branches from the line can be regarded much in the same light. 
When they take a rising direction, they are favorable, and their 
specific application can be deduced from the direction in which they 
point. Falling branches and hairlines show the need for greater con- 
centration and effort to enjoy the full benefit of a good Apollo line. 

Now as to the nature of the line itself. Of course, a sharp, deep, 
clearcut line with good color is best. A broad, shallow line gives a 
rather surface appreciation of the arts and some success in connec- 
tion with them, but it also carries the implication of great show and 
a false front. A chained line, especially when it is shallow, gives 
the hollow semblance of success and reputation one who talks much 
about his attainments but fools no one but himself. A wavy line tells 
of vacillation, a career which suffers because of erratic waverings 
and unreliability. 

The origin of the Apollo line modifies its significance to a slight 
degree. When it rises from the mount of Luna (see plate 49), it will 
show strong imagination joined to good powers of expression. Such a 
line is a great boon for writers, lecturers and speakers of all kinds. 
When the line of Apollo starts from the wrist and runs all the way to 
the Apollo mount, it has its greatest length and will throw its fortu- 
nate influence over the entire life. If the line starts low, but runs only 
for a short distance, unusual talents and opportunities of early life 
will be frittered away. 

The line of Apollo beginning from the line of life (see plate 50), 
is usually associated with success in artistic work, the higher its point 
of origin on the lifeline, the later will the career bear fruit. Starting 
from the line of destiny (see plate 51), the Apollo line places a crown 
of good fortune on a person's own efforts. A beginning from the line 
of head adds luck to brain work, and a start from the line of heart 
indicates very happy sex relations such as a marriage which will con- 
tribute to happiness, wealth and reputation. Usually, this last indica- 
tion applies to the latter part of life. 

To some extent, the influences of the lines of Apollo and Saturn 
are overlapping. They can, however, be distinguished in this way. 
The Saturn line refers more to the active career. The Apollo line gov- 
erns the chance and luck attending that career. Apollo applies par- 


ticularly to the outward semblances of success wealth and reputa- 

As to the way in which this line makes its influence apparent, that 
I have not been able to explain to my entire satisfaction. Many other 
signs in the hand which had previously been assigned a superstitious 
rather than a psychological or physiological significance, I have been 
able to consider in a more scientific light. At first, I was inclined to 
discount the influence of the Apollo line entirely, but actual study 
of many thousands of hands taught me that persons who lacked this 
line were practically always beset by difficulties, no matter how 
favorable the other indications in their hands. On the other hand, 
those who possessed this sign of fortune seemed favored by luck, 
chance call it what you will. Whether there is some mysterious 
element in the chemistry of personality which determines probabili- 
ties of fortune with mathematical precision, I would not dare say. 
But even this indication will some day, I venture to guess, be fully/ 
explained in terms which allow no doubt. 


ON the outer edge of the hand, extending into the palm under the 
little finger, there are often a number of horizontal lines. These are 
the lines of sex influence (see plate 27, number 6), or, as the older 
followers of palmistry termed them, the lines of marriage. They do 
not, of course, show the number of times you have married or will 
marry. What they do show is the number, depth and constancy of the 
sexual attractions which your personality complex makes possible 
for you. Some of these relations may be realized, possibly in friend- 
ship with the opposite sex in which attraction plays a large part, 
possibly in marriage, whether actually legalized or not. For, of course, 


a deeply felt and stable sexual relation will show on the hand regard- 
less of the seal of civil and spiritual authority. 

When the marriage lines I shall use the older term because of its 
greater facility are close to the line of heart (see the lowest of the 
three short lines in plate 52), they apply to youth. In the middle of 
the space between the line of heart and the base of the finger of 



Mercury, marriage lines are placed at the ages of about twenty-five 
and thirty. The closer to the finger of Mercury they appear (see the 
uppermost of the three short lines in plate 52), the greater the age 
to which they refer. 

A marriage line which turns up toward the finger of Mercury (see 
plate 53) is usually found without companion lines and shows a per- 


son who is "not the marrying kind." A look at the line of heart will 
often disclose the reason whether it be fickleness as indicated by 
a broad, chained line of heart or the bleak, self-centered disposition 
which goes with a thin, bare line of heart. 

A fork at the end of the marriage line, especially one curving down 
into the hand (see plate 54), indicates the probability of separation 
or divorce, and a downward curve alone has the same significance. 

The longer and clearer the line of sex influence, the more stable 
and deep will be the relationship. One of the strongest indications of 
a happy marriage is an influence line from the mount of Luna into 
the line of destiny, combined with a single, long and clearly marked 
line of marriage. A wealthy marriage is sometimes thought to be 
shown by a marriage line merging into the line of Apollo. 

If the line of marriage is broken up or linked like a chain, the re- 
lationship will be very unhappy. The cause of such unhappiness 
physiological differences, diversity in interests or in temperament 
might be discovered by a comparison of the hands of two people 
contemplating a union. 


The small, vertical lines which stand up between the lines of mar- 
riage on the side of the hand (see plate 27, number 13) indicate fer- 
tility the number of children you can have, not at all necessarily 
the number you will have. Usually, they are much more clearly 
marked in the hands of women than of men. Broad and deep lines 
are taken by the lore of palmistry to indicate male children; narrow, 
fine lines, females. Very faint and uneven lines show delicacy in 
the offspring. Straight, deep, clear ones indicate strong and healthy 
children. When one line of a group is markedly longer and stronger 
than the others, it shows the superiority of one of the children over 
his brothers and sisters. 

A very flat mount of Venus and a bracelet which rises from the 
wrist into the palm of the hand is usually considered a sign of 



THE line of health or Hepatica (see plate 27, number 7), which 
runs down the hand in a diagonal direction, normally from the mount 
of Mercury toward the line of life, is classed among the major lines. 
It is, however, often absent altogether or only very faintly or frag- 
mentarily present. Its total absence is the best indication of all, for 
this shows an extremely robust, resistant and energetic constitution. 

Next to complete absence, a straight line, extending down the 
outer side of the palm from Mercury through the mount of Luna is 
a good second-best. Though this position does not indicate the com- 
plete escape from ills which absence shows, it still manifests great 
resistance to whatever ailments are contracted. 

The point at which the line of health actually encounters the line 
of life, when the former takes its normal position in diagonal line, is 
one at which the health and life are seriously menaced. If the line of 
life is weak at this point, and if there is corroborating evidence in the 
lines of heart and head, this point can almost certainly be taken as 
the end of life. 


IN addition to the major lines, which are present in almost every 
hand, there are a number of minor groovings which your hand may 
or may not show. Some of these give valuable assistance to the talents 


and characteristics revealed by the rest of your hand. Others are less 


The line of intuition (see plate 27, number 8) is a mixed blessing. 
Its position is along the outer edge of the palm, running vertically 
from the Lunar mount to the mount of Mercury. Its shape is an arc, 
approaching the semi-circle, arching out into the palm. 

The line of intuition, as its name indicates, gives its possessor 
acute, intuitive understanding. It marks out a sort of sixth sense by 
which things not perceived through the ordinary sensory faculties 
and not reasoned by the mind are seemingly arrived at by instinct. 
A deep, clear, unbroken line having a good arc will give the most 
reliable intuitive sensitiveness. A broken or otherwise defective line 
has little effectiveness, or it may show a false intuition. An island on 
the line likewise indicates intuitions either misapplied or only par- 
tially understood. 

A branch line running from a deep, clear line of intuition to the 
Jupiter mount shows the realization of this mysterious faculty and its 
application to aid ambition. A rising line to the mount of Apollo 
shows a measure of renown coming from the use of this strange gift. 
Conflict is told by a line from this mark which cuts through the line 
of destiny. This indicates that the intuitive faculties will seriously 
prejudice the career. When the connecting line from the arc of in- 
tuition actually merges into the line of destiny, instinct will prove 
an aid to the career. 

At times this line of intuition may be very broken up and confused 
with a defective line of health. In that case, the exercise of the in- 
tuitive faculties is a danger to health. For corroboration, look at the 
line of head. If it, too, shows weakness, there is danger that the 
attraction of mysticism will unbalance the mind. 

Persons who possess this sixth sense are often unaware of it them- 
selves. In any case, they are unable to explain it. To what extent it 
is connected with suggestibility and the manifestations of hypnosis, 
I do not know. Perhaps the faculty is a natural one which we have 
lost, corresponding to the racial memory and instincts of animals. 


Perhaps it is a new sensory endowment which mankind is just in 
process of developing. That is the theory adopted by such scientists 
as Sir Oliver Lodge, who believe that some day all human beings will 
be able to receive impressions which are in no sense mysterious but 
merely too delicate to be registered by the fingers, eyes, ears and 
nose. If there do exist waves or particles which, functioning outside 
ordinary time, would tell us of the past or future, we may some day 
learn of them, just as we have found light waves which the eye does 
not register but which make their impression on sensitive instru- 


The via lascivia (see plate 27, number 14) is a rare marking. It is 
a convex arch either crossing the hand above the wrist or slanting 
from lower mount Luna into the wrist. This line indicates great phy- 
sical energy. If the hand as a whole is coarse and sensual, the via 
lascivia increases the sensuality, gluttony and passion shown by the 
hand. When the hand is a more ideal or mental type, the excess 
energy may be directed into work. 


The girdle of Venus (see plate 27, number 9) is an arc looping 
down into the palm from between the first and second fingers and 
the third and fourth. Occasionally, it stretches out from the Jupiter 
finger to the base of Mercury or even to the outer edge of the palm. 
It is in part a sister line to the line of heart and sometimes, when the 
later is absent, it takes its place. 

Depending on the type of hand, the girdle of Venus has widely 
differing implications. On a sensitive hand, it is likely to mean 
nervous disorders, often connected with sex maladjustments. Many 
fine lines etched all over the palm will bear out the interpretation of 
nervous sensitiveness. When the headline is poor, the girdle of Venus 
may be taken as a symptom of hysteria. 

In a hand which is strongly physical, the girdle of Venus empha- 


sizes sensuality, sometimes, if it is both strong and much broken up, 
showing sexual abnormalities. 

The further the girdle of Venus extends across the hand, the better, 
for proximity to the palms outer edge allows the stabilizing force of 
Mercury to be felt. When, in cutting through the lines of Saturn or 
Apollo, the girdle of Venus actually breaks them, sensuality or pre- 
occupation with sex will be an obstacle to success. 


The line of Mars or vitality (see plate 27, number 10) is a sister 
line to the line of life, running parallel to it and inside its enclosure. 
This line greatly strengthens a weak line of life and adds tremendous 
energy to a good one. Its aid is limited to the period during which it 
extends, and only when the line of vitality continues for the whole 
length of the line of life is its effect felt from birth to death. On the 
whole, the line of Mars is an excellent indication, but there is always 
the danger that the bounding energy and vitality it gives will lead to 
excesses of various kinds. 


The ring of Solomon (see plate 27, number 15) is a very unusual 
formation, made by an extension of the line of heart which, instead 
of rising on the mount of Jupiter, begins as a semicircle curling like 
a ring around the base of the Jupiter finger. This sign I have found 
associated with a very fastidious, sensitive nature, often possessing 
psychic or clairvoyant powers. Its presence, though at best rare, is 
more frequent in the hands of women than of men. 


The ring of Saturn (see plate 27, number 16) may be a line cir- 
cling the base of the middle finger or formed of two lines starting on 
either side of that finger and crossing below it. It is an unfavorable 
sign, indicating lack of constancy and should be read as a warning to 
overcome vacillation and changeableness. To negate the effect of the 


ring of Saturn, a strong-willed thumb and good line of head should be 


The bracelets (see plate 27, number 11) are the rings on the wrist, 
denning the lower edge of the palm. They may be absent altogether 
or there may be one or two or, at the most, three. These used to be 
considered indications of longevity, a term of thirty years being 
arbitrarily assigned to each bracelet. In my studies of hands, I have 
found the bracelets to mean very little, except that the upcurving of 
the topmost one into the palm itself is strong indication of sterility. 


The lines of travel (see plate 27, number 12) are actually not 
prophetic marks of future wanderings over the face of the earth, but 
rather the indications of a restlessness which may very well find its 
expression in voyagings. These lines are found cutting into the palm 
from far on the outer edge of the Lunar mount. They run in a 
diagonally upward direction. When the travel lines merge with the 
line of destiny, travel is likely to be your career or a part of it. As to 
fixing the date of the voyages, the diagram fixing time in the hand 
applies to these lines as to the others. Restlessness, the desire to be 
on the move, to see new places, people and things is stronger at some 
periods of life than others. Some persons are hit by wanderlust in 
their youth, others not until after they have satisfied other ambitions. 
That is the extent to which these lines fix the dates of voyages. 



IN addition to the eminences on the palm and the lines which cross 
it in all directions, you will often notice special formations. Each of 
these has its particular significance, modified by the position in which 
it is placed. 


The star (see plate 55) is, with only two exceptions, one of the 
most fortunate signs to have. One negative implication is connected 
with a star on the line of head, particularly at its end (see plate 56, 
1 ) , which may be a sign of genius, but of that peculiar genius which 
crosses the border from sanity to insanity. A star on mount Saturn, 
under the middle finger, is the second unfortunate placement. This is 
manifestation of a dreaded kind of distinction, of notoriety and in- 
famy more as the result of circumstances than through any wrong- 
doing of the person himself. 

The more favorable placements of the star give great distinction. 
A star on the mount of Apollo (see plate 56, 3) is a sign of the great- 
est good luck, promising wealth, renown and happiness. This position 
is usually associated with a public career. A star on the positive 
mount of Mars above the Venus mount (see plate 56, 8), is more 
particularized, being usually associated with distinction in military 
affairs. On mount Jupiter (see plate 56, 12), a star signifies capacity 
for leadership and its realization. On mount Mercury (see plate 56, 
4), the star promises success in the fields associated with that mount, 
science or commerce, according to the other indications of the hand. 
A star on the negative mount of Mars on the outer edge of the palm 


between the Lunar mount and that of Mercury (see plate 56, 7) 
promises recompense and honor for great moral courage. A star on 
mount Luna (see plate 56, 10) gives celebrity achieved through 
application of a vivid imagination. A star on mount Venus (see plate 
56, 9) tells of unusual magnetism for the opposite sex. A star on the 



o 0> 







plain of Mars (see plate 56, 6) marks you for success in invention. 
Between the origin of the line of life and the line of destiny (see plate 
56, 5), a star indicates prominence in theology. On the tip of the 
little finger (see plate 56, 11), a star emphasizes the facility with 
language which is associated with that finger and tells of spellbinding 
eloquence. On the tips of the other fingers (see plate 56, 13), stars 






are marks of well developed sensory nerves, giving unusually delicate 
perception to the fingertips. 


Unlike the star, an island (see plate 55) is never a fortunate sign. 


When found in the body of a line, it reduces the positive implications 
of that line. When found in other positions, it usually weakens the 
promise of a mount or finger. On mount Jupiter (see plate 57, 1), 
an island shows some misfortune, possibly enmities, resulting from an 
overly ambitious, domineering nature. On mount Saturn (see plate 
57, 2), an island produces a morbid, dark-tinged trend of thought. 
An island on or under mount Apollo (see plate 56, 3) shows loss of 
reputation through gossip or malicious interference by others. On 
mount Mercury (see plate 57, 4), an island means losses in busi- 
ness; on the heart line (see plate 57, 11), unfortunate loves; on the 
line of head (see plate 57, 5), either frequent headaches or some 
interference with the reason; at the end of the line of life (see plate 
57, 9), some mystery, perhaps associated with the manner or cir- 
cumstances of death; on mount Venus (see plate 57, 8), unhappy 
infatuations; on Mars positive (see plate 57, 7), fear of violence, 
though this may be temporary. An island on mount Luna (see plate 
57, 6), unless it is accompanied by a very poor line of head or a weak 
thumb, can usually be counteracted. Its indication is of a dis- 
ordered, fantastic imagination, and discipline will overcome it. 


The cross (see plate 55) may be either fortunate or the opposite, 
according to its position. Under the index finger (see plate 58, 1), 
it brings fulfillment to ambition. On mount Saturn (see plate 58, 2), 
it signifies a morbid disposition, though not so deep nor consistent 
a melancholia as that connoted by an island in this position. Under 
the Apollo finger (see plate 58, 3), a cross gives keen observation, 
invaluable to the student of human nature or the reporter. On mount 
Mercury (see plate 58, 4), a cross intensifies the keen business sense 
which goes with that finger. A cross on mount Mars, negative under 
Mercury (see plate 58, 6), ameliorates stubbornness. On mount Luna 
(see plate 58, 7), a cross shows a vivid imagination put to the use 
of self-deception, and on the plain of Mars, between the lines of head 
and heart (see plate 58, 5), a cross signifies a person fascinated by 



The triangle, which is usually found on one of the mounts, points 
up the special talents associated with that mount or with the finger 
of the same name. A triangle on mount Jupiter (see plate 59, 1) 
shows the ability to rule great masses of people. A triangle on mount 
Saturn (see plate 59, 2) counteracts the sombreness of that thought- 
ful finger and indicates melancholy successfully overcome. A triangle 
under the Apollo finger (see plate 59, 3) gives administrative ability 
in finance. Under the Mercury finger (see plate 59, 4), it shows 
executive powers in business. On Mars negative (see plate 59, 7), 
it manifests great spiritual resources. At the end of the line of head 
(see plate 59, 8), it gives the powers of sound reasoning to counteract 
too vivid an imagination. On mount Luna (see plate 59, 9), a tri- 
angle shows presence of mind in emergency; on Venus (see plate 59, 
11), calmness and stability in love; on Mars positive (see plate 59, 
5), social interests and abilities. 


The circle has but few connotations. I have often found it situated 
under the third finger or between the second and third fingers in the 
hands of singers or those who are gifted musically in other ways. At 
the base of mount Luna, a circle shows vivid dramatic imagination. 


A fork with two short even branches, like the base of a photog- 
rapher's tripod seen sectionally (see plate 55) shows dramatic talent. 
I have found a formation of this shape on the lines of head, on the 
destiny line, on the Apollo line, or even on the line of heart of some 
of those who have made their mark behind the world's footlights or 
under the Kleigs. This is called a tripod. 



A square (see plate 55) is always a sign of healing. When it binds 
a broken line together, it shows the overcoming of whatever originally 
caused the break. The square must be considered in relation to the 
position in which it appears. On a mount, it means protection from 
the negative connotations of that mount. On a line, it means preserva- 
tion from ill health, from excesses, from poor choice in the selection 
of your career, protection from bad judgment in a love affair, or in 


A grille, made up of many lines crossing in opposite directions, 
resulting in a sort of screen effect (see plate 55), may be found in 
any part of the hand, but it usually appears on a mount. The grille 
signifies difficulties and weaknesses in connection with the qualities 
associated with the particular mount on which it appears. On the 
mount of Mercury, a grille connotes indiscretion; on Apollo, vanity 
and danger of notoriety from too much seeking of the limelight; on 
Saturn, melancholia; on Jupiter, stiffnecked pride and a domineering 


Of course, the force of any of the incidental marks on a hand must, 
like everything else, be read in conjunction with the general indica- 
tions of the hand its shape, consistency, flexibility, and especially 
in connection with the particular line or mount on which the mark 
occurs. An island, for example, on a line which is clear and bold both 
before and after its interruption by that unfortunate mark is not so 
threatening as an island situated in a line which is weak throughout 
its entire length, or much broken up after the appearance of the 

My experience with hands leads me to differ with those authorities 
who deny all significance to such markings as the square, island, 


circle or grille. But I do agree with them that too arbitrary and spe- 
cific a meaning can be read into them. The import of these signs must 
be arrived at through a balancing of all the factors appearing in the 
hand, and the interpretation placed upon them must never be given 
finality. The hand must always be regarded in a state of flux, just as 
is the personality as a whole. If you make a point of studying hands 
over a period of years, you will be surprised at the changes to be 
found in a person's hand as he grows and changes. 

PART TWO The Doctor Loo\s at Hands 


WHEN the doctor looks at hands, what does he see? Certainly not 
only what we laymen behold, a moving part of the body having the 
power to grasp objects, move them, make them, change them; nor 
does he see just an appendage through which we can express our- 
selves, supplementing our powers of speech by gesture. 

Underlying the doctor's professional glance at our hands is his 
knowledge of their structure and their functioning. First, he sees in 
the hand a part of the body whose development he can trace through 
the centuries. Though there are large gaps in the doctor's knowledge 
of evolution, which he has to bridge with guesswork and theory, he 
has a consistent explanation of the successive steps by which life in 
its simplest form a tiny, undifferentiated bit of living matter 
became more complicated. Cells of living matter became specialized 
in form and function. In the simplest forms, a single cell had limited 
and elementary powers of motion and feeling. That single cell com- 
bined the functions of eating, reproducing and reacting to outside 
stimuli. As the organism grew more complicated, special cells be- 
came different from their fellows. Certain ones took on the job of 
responding to outside impressions. These were nerve cells. Others 
took on the job of producing substances needed by the body. These 
were gland cells. Others had the work of contracting, or moving. 
These made up the muscle tissue. 

The doctor sees all these cells at their work in the hand. Struc- 
turally, he sees a skeleton of small bones at the wrist, the carpal 
bones, and other small bones extended to make the fingers. These are 
the metacarpals and phalanges. The formation, the consistency, the 
size of these bones tell the doctor a story about the health of his 



Covering the bones, the doctor sees the muscular tissue, and it 
tells its story. And, carrying life into the hand, the doctor sees a 
system of blood vessels, part of the body's circulatory system. This 
tells the doctor still another story through the color and the tem- 
perature of the hand. The skin, to the doctor, is not just a thin, pro- 
tective covering for the hand. It is made up of rows of cells an 
outer layer, the epidermis, and an inner one, the derma (or corium). 
And in these rows he finds tiny glands and nerve cells. 

The doctor knows that the hand is very highly endowed with 
sensory nerve cells, which take the messages of sensation to the brain. 
Then millions of other nerve cells receive the message back and pass 
it on to the muscular tissue. As the same stimulus is repeated over 
and over again, it beats an accustomed path through the central 
nervous system to the brain's cortex, and thus it is that we form our 
habits, learn to associate one thing with another, develop a memory. 

The hand, probably as much or more than any other part of the 
body, is the destination of many of the complicated messages from 
the brain, for the hand can learn to do things which are far removed 
from simple reflex action or from instinctive reaction. The hand can 
learn to play the violin, to weave, to build houses, to paint, to mix 
chemicals. Is it any wonder that the hand records its owner's life in 
a living tapestry? 

Just as the nerves form a telegraphic coordinating system govern- 
ing movement and responses through the body, so do the gland cells 
influence the chemistry of the body. The two functions really cannot 
be separated, for the health and activity of certain glands, particu- 
larly the ductless or endocrine glands, influence the nerve responses. 
Take the thyroid gland, located in the throat region. This gland 
produces thyroxin, which can completely alter a person's tempera- 
ment. Absence or deficiency of thyroxin will result in the storage of 
large amounts of fat. It will cause subnormal body temperature, a 
slower pulse, a general slowing of the body's living processes accom- 
panied by mental and physical sluggishness. The hand will exhibit 
definite symptoms showing this thyroid deficiency. And excess of the 
thyroid hormone, which raises the tempo of living, increases the 
pulse rate and results in emaciation and nervous irritability, will also 
be indicated in the hand. 


I am by no means urging that physicians should substitute hand 
analysis for the diagnostic methods which the science of medicine has 
developed throughout the centuries. But I do believe that the hands 
are an important diagnostic aid, the significance of which has been 
very largely overlooked by the practicing physician. Their value lies 
not only in the corroborating symptoms which they display and which 
give greater certainty to a diagnosis. They have still another, two- 
fold contribution for medicine. First, I would transfer the prophetic 
powers which superstition has assigned to palmistry to the medical 
aspect of hand analysis. It is very true that conditions of the blood, 
the functioning of the circulatory system, of the glands, the resulting 
irritability of unresponsiveness of the nervous system, leave their 
mark in the hands often long before the abnormal condition has be- 
come sufficiently marked to be classed as a disease or illness. Thus, 
hands point to dangers threatening the health, and mark out par- 
ticular classes of ailments to which a person is predisposed. 

As our civilization becomes more complex, we deal more and more 
with substances which are injurious to our health. With the entrance 
of chemistry into industry, there has arisen a whole new series of 
ailments known as industrial diseases. In a sense, they are not en- 
tirely new to modern times, for certain processes go far back into 
history. In the dead civilizations of the past, laborers fell victim to 
lead poisoning, miners had special, mysterious illnesses, potters died 
of conditions not shared by other craftsmen. But the incidence and 
virulence of these self-induced diseases is multiplied by every new 
factory, increased by each new process, spread in every new mining 
town and manufacturing center. Millions of free men die or drag out 
their days in a half-death caused by what Pliny called the "slave 

Physicians who have studied occupational diseases often find the 
earliest symptoms in the hands. Conditions which result in tubercu- 
losis, wasting away of the tissues and energies of man, could be dealt 
with much earlier if factories installed regular physical checkups, in- 
cluding careful examination of their workers' hands, and took pre- 
ventive measures where a new process was found to be hazardous. 

Still another value which hands have for the physician is in the 
key they give to a patient's psychology. There are many theories 


why this is so. I have no definite answer to the mystery, except to 
suggest that the intimate connection of the hands with the function- 
ing of the entire body gives the hands a sort of preview of the things 
which make us behave, not only like human beings, but like a par- 
ticular human being, Jack Jones, or Jill Smith. Whatever the reason, 
I have found the hands an unusually accurate guide not only to the 
temporary attitude of a person toward life, but also to the more or 
less consistent outlook which runs like a main motif through all his 
actions. Since, in many diseases, the patient's psychological state is 
as important as his physiological, I think a study of the hands will 
give extremely valuable aid in their treatment. So long as man's self 
is the least understood phenomenon with which he has to deal, he 
ought certainly to use every means by which he can know himself 

If this applies to diseases whose causes are organic and recogniz- 
able, how much more does it apply to functional conditions whose 
causes are obscure, buried in the complex whole. Hypochondria may 
range from the tantrums of a bored debutante to a self-induced 
paralysis. And the borderline between mental balance and unbalance, 
or emotional control and lack of it, gives us an unexplored region in 
human behavior where we must take direction from every guidepost 
our limited knowledge affords us. 


ABNORMALITIES in shape, strength, texture, brittleness and color 
of the nails are accepted even by the most conservative of medicos as 
indicative of the body's condition. Already, there are nail symptoms 
which are hardly open to question. Interpretation of others is still 
somewhat controversial. I have found, however, that my opinion of 
a person's physical condition, in which study of the nails plays a 


large part, is unusually accurate. I have examined hands and sub- 
sequently checked my findings with a physician's diagnosis. On 
more than one occasion, I have been able to point to definite dangers 
menacing the health of an individual, and the treatment of the con- 
dition I discovered has in some cases prevented its becoming much 
more serious. Where a case has already been diagnosed, a skeptic 
might say that my guess was the result of telepathic communication, 
but where mine was the original diagnosis, the only explanation 
which satisfies reason is that the method I use is an accurate one. 

The nail's shape in itself shows predispositions towards certain ail- 
ments and is a fairly good index to a person's general physical condi- 

Long, oval-shaped nails (see plate 60) usually belong to those 
whose physical constitution is weak. With nails of this oval shape are 


60 61 62 

associated deficiencies of the blood anemia, for example and dis- 
eases of the respiratory system. A bluish color on nails of this type 
is added evidence of anemia. The liability to pulmonary diseases is 
perhaps as much due to lowered resistance, a result of malnourish- 
ment and resultant anemia, as to any direct association between nails 
of this shape and the lungs. 

A short, neat, oval nail, without moons (see plate 61) is classed as 
the cardiac type. Its color is usually bluish. This may signify an 
organic defect of the heart. The same shape on a nail with moons 
well-developed is often the accompaniment of functional disorders of 
the circulatory system, palpitations or high blood pressure. A very 
high arch in the nail supports the diagnonis of palpitations. 

Short nails, very flat and broad at the tip but tapering into a 
point at the base and thus giving a triangular effect (see plate 62) 


are most often found on persons of highly nervous temperament. 
Such nails if accompanied by significant enlargement of the first 
phalanx may show an improperly functioning thyroid, but the indi- 
cation is much too uncertain to be given credence by itself. At 
best, it can be looked upon as a diagnostic aid in pre-clinical ill- 
ness, pointing out the inception of disease or a predisposition to cer- 
tain conditions. White flecks show an aggravation of the nerves. 

Throat weaknesses I have often found associated with nails shaped 
somewhat like the nervous type, that is, broad at the tip and pointed 
at the base. There is, however, this difference. The nail which goes 
with susceptibility to bronchial ailments is curved in outline, while 
the nervous nail has straight, flat contours. 

The texture of the nail should be smooth. Heavy transverse 
ridging may be a warning of paralysis. Such consistent cross ridging 
of the nail is not to be confused with occasional transverse grooves. 
The latter are only the record of a minor indisposition in the past. 
They never foretell future illnesses or predispositions. In fact, they 
are so definitely related to the past that they indicate just how far 
back in time an illness has occurred by the distance of the ridge 
from the base of the nail. Allowing a span of about six months for 
the length of the entire nail the time it ordinarily takes for a nail 
to grow its full length you can judge the time which has elapsed 
since the ridge first grew into the nail. 

Spots on the nail are signs of various kinds of disorders, though 
they are not very specific in their message. White spots show excess 
nervous irritability the response of too many nerve cells to outside 
stimuli. You will generally find these little white speckles in the 
hands of excitable, tense persons. In children, the white spots are a 
warning for parents to work out a simple regimen of life with 
regular meals, regular sleeping hours, and regulation of the body 
functions. A change in the color of the spots to a pinkish or yellow- 
ish hue usually shows the return to good health. Dark spots, brown 
or blue, show some serious condition of the blood, possibly an in- 
fection or the presence of an inorganic poison. 

The color of the entire nail is also significant. A healthy nail is 
pinkish, smoolh and has a certain natural brilliancy. Irregular 
blotchings of pink and white are an index to poor blood condition, 


though beyond that, this symptom will not specify the nature of the 
condition. Very pale nails show lack of vitality, possibly a calcium 
deficiency, especially if the nail is soft. Bluish nails warn of poor 
circulation and, in women, of irregular functioning of the sex organs. 
A bluish nail bordered with a dark red outline is usually a sign of 
auto-intoxication, the accumulation of poisons because of faulty 

A short, narrow nail, pale, very thin and much curved, is often 
found to accompany either calcium deficiency or incomplete calcium 
assimilation. Since the utilization of calcium in our bodies is closely 
connected with the endocrine glands, such nails are often a warning 
to look into the glandular functioning. 

Short, broad nails having a bright, good color go with good vitality 
and health. Temporary ridges or spots may appear even in healthy 
nails, when a person is overworked, but the surface usually remains 


TO SAY that a thin, much-lined hand is the nervous type is not to 
repeat the superstitions of witch doctors and brewers of herbs. It is 
to recognize what I have already pointed out, that a person's tem- 
perament is directly dependent on the functioning of the endocrine 
glands and that the hand's general conformation is also affected by 
the same causes. Minute differences in the body's chemistry will 
greatly change its physical, mental and emotional reactions. The 
doctor sees the hand as an index to the totality of personality not 
just in the narrow sense, but in the broader sense combining 
physiological and psychological aspects. 


So far as the hand goes, any irregularity in size immediately 
arouses the doctor's suspicion. If the hands are noticeably large, the 
palms deepened, all the palmar eminences enlarged and the fingers 
stubby with the first phalanx having a slightly puffy appearance, 
the doctor will look for other symptoms of acromegaly, caused by 
imperfect functioning of the pituitary gland. This gland is a small 
body located on the ventral side of the fore-brain in all vertebrates. 
The ailments which result from abnormalities in the workings of 
this gland are often obscure and badly understood. In such case, the 
additional evidence which the hands offer ought certainly not to be 

Diseases of the thyroid gland are also evidenced in the hand. In 
hyperthyroidism or myxedema, the metabolism of the entire body is 
thrown out of gear. This produces changes in the appearance of 
the skin, including the subcutaneous tissue lying directly under it. 
Since the thyroid gland also regulates some of the activities of the 
internal organs, such as the liver, and is responsible for the rate of 
absorption of fat in the body, faulty secretion by the thyroid gland 
causes accumulation of fatty tissue in certain parts of the body, 
usually in the face, the torso and the hands. 

As the condition is aggravated, the face becomes over-developed 
and the hands take on a fat, pudgy look. Action of the entire system 
becomes sluggish and dull. The extreme condition of this disease 
produces a mental and physical torpor approaching idiocy. By 
careful administration of thyroid extract to patients suffering from 
the disease, the fat may be rapidly burned in the body: the suf- 
ferer loses weight; metabolism is restored to its proper rate; and, 
along with the disappearance of other symptoms, the hands usually 
assume their normal appearance. 

When the body's calcium-phosphorous balance is disturbed, an- 
other noticeable change occurs in the hands. The cuticle becomes 
excessive in formation, and the skin around the nails, instead of 
being soft and pliable, becomes hard, dry and cracked. Defective 
"parathyroid" conditions may speed up this abnormal reaction. Often 
patients whose hands bear thick, dry cuticles like this are subject 
to rheumatic diseases and to arteriosclerosis, more commonly known 
as hardening of the arteries. 


Diagnosis of chronic rheumatism is aided by the study of the 
hand's appearance, for the appendicular symptoms of rheumatism 
are quite definite. The knuckles are knobbed and swollen, sometimes 
painful, but they can easily be recognized by the knoblike protu- 
berance of the joints. This is not to be confused with the knotty bone 
formation of a healthy large-jointed hand. Where there is a morbid 
condition of the joint, you will usually see the skin inflamed and 
stretched over the projecting articulations. There are also deformi- 
ties and unnatural shapes of the hand associated with many other 
diseases, especially those of nerve involvements causing wasting 
away or overdevelopment. 

The hands of older people are characterized by conditions peculiar 
to their age. There is the "pill-roller" hand, which assumes a posi- 
tion similar to that taken in rolling pills or cigarettes with the thumb 
and forefinger. This is symptomatic of paralysis agitans. Then, there 
is the condition known as "preacher's" or "benediction" hand. This 
usually accompanies inflammations of the brain-covering in the 
region of the cervical spine. In still other conditions, the hand takes 
on the appearance of an animal's claw, which indicates to the doctor 
that there is pressure on the nerve trunk or injury to the nerve 
centers in the spine. 

The fingers' shapes have their role in the drama of health and dis- 
ease. Very short clubbed and stubby fingers are frequently due to 
poor return circulation, the evidence of some cardiac or pulmonary 
involvement. Certain abnormalities in the fingers are so specifically 
associated with diseases affecting the entire body that they are 
called by the name of the disease. There are, for example, gouty 
fingers, syphilitic fingers and tuberculous fingers, each characteristic 
of the disease for which they are named. Others, just as specific in 
their diagnostic application, are known by terms descriptive of 
their appearance, like the baseball finger. It is my contention that 
careful study of the fingers' shapes would immeasurably add cer- 
tainty to our present diagnostic methods. These are, after all, still 
largely based on experience and association with little or no actual 
proof underlying their application. 



IN ADDITION to the formation, consistency and shape of the 
nails and of the hand as a whole, the skin of the hand will frequently 
give a clue to the type of malady to which a person may be subject. 
A warm, pliant skin, especially when it is excessively moist, points to 
the possibility of sexual abnormalities. This may take the form of 
overestimated sex impulses, even though the impulses are not given 
direct expression. In fact, inhibition sometimes intensifies the con- 
dition and leads to corollary diseases. Another possibility to be 
explored in connection with this type of skin is overactivity of the 
thyroid gland and the nervous excitation which is its accompaniment. 

Very fine skin of normal temperature and moisture, covering flesh 
of firm, elastic consistency, shows a personality very close to normal 
except for a slight tendency towards greater than average sensitivity 
to nervous excitation. 

The sort of person whose instinctive emotional responses are re- 
pressed, one in whom there is definite conflict between the primary 
impulse and its expression, can often be identified by a very dry, 
flaky skin. This, too, is indicative of improper functioning of the 
thyroid gland, usually lack of sufficient thyroid secretion. The coarser 
and lower in temperature this type of skin, the more certain is this 
diagnosis. Nervous energy lacking vigorous physical resistance char- 
acterizes this condition. 

In diagnosing functional ailments, the physician has found that 
psychological aspects must play a larger and larger part in his con- 
siderations. Suggestion, auto-suggestion and hysteria are often ac- 
companied by physiological symptoms which can scarcely be dis- 
tinguished from actual disorders. In some cases, one leads to the 


other, as in self-induced paralysis where partial atrophy of unused 
muscles may result from disuse. Study of the formation of the line 
of head, of course in relation to the hand as a whole and to other 
symptomatic indications, aids in identification of neuroses or even 
of the more advanced psychoses. 

For every maladjustment, there are previous indications, identify- 
ing the type of person and the type of mental unbalance to be ex- 
pected of him. The wide swings from one extreme to another 
characteristic of manic-depressive insanity find their expression in 
the hand, and the duality of the schizophrenic is also shown there. 
Where the headline itself is of poor quality, feathered, broken or 
chained, too vivid an imagination and tendencies to melancholia are 
almost predestined to result in unbalance. Therefore, an inferior 
headline with a branch swinging sharply down and penetrating 
deeply on to the mount of Luna can be taken as corroborating 
indication of this type of insanity. 

In a hand with a very poor headline, if the mount of Venus is not 
well developed and the mount of Saturn is dominant, morbid hallu- 
cinations may occur in early life. In such cases, proper therapeutic 
measures are able to stabilize the mind, but opposition or attempts 
at suppression aggravate the condition. 

The various degrees of subnormal mentality are usually coupled 
with hands which have no marked abnormalities but rather a gener- 
ally subnormal index. The will phalanx of the thumb will be unde- 
veloped. Reasoning powers will be lacking. Emotional responses will 
be very limited. Aesthetic sensibilities will be of the simplest, though 
not necessarily entirely absent. 

In the hand of someone who is mentally subnormal, we usually 
find a wide-sloping line of head made up entirely of islands or little 
hairlines. This formation is characteristic of the congenital idiot or 
imbecile, usually quite harmless and childish, but never able to de- 
velop into normal adulthood. 

When such subnormality is due to glandular dysfunction, symp- 
toms of that condition will, of course, also be present. 

When unbalance is added to such a subnormal hand, the vicious 
concomitants of insanity can be expected. There may be signs of 
sexual abnormality to complicate lack of mentality. The head line 


will often be made up of short branches running in all directions. 
A number of lines may start inside the line of life on mount Mars and 
cross the hand to the opposite mount of Mars. The nails on this type 
of hand are generally very short and red, the fingers crooked. 

Aside from its general quality and appearance, the skin of the 
palmar surface shows tiny ridges assuming definite patterns. Their 
nature cannot be determined definitely except by microscopic exam- 
ination, for the formations are too minute to be differentiated by the 
naked eye. Such an examination is much more accurately made from 
a handprint, which reveals the ridges with greater clarity than does 
the hand itself. 

The pattern is formed only on the outer layer of the skin. Never- 
theless, it is extremely significant in the study of hands in connec- 
tion with the body's health. Normally, the ridges are clear and dis- 
tinct. Breaks, dots, points and other malformations are indicative 
of diseased conditions. But it is important to differentiate between 
breaks in the actual pattern and the breaks caused by disease. 

Two kinds of disease conditions are most easily distinguished 
through malformations in the ridges of the palmar skin: bacterial 
infections and absorption of inorganic poisons. Apparently the in- 
vasion of the body by hostile micro-organisms or foreign substances 
produces chemical changes which cause characteristic alterations in 
the skin. The ridge pattern itself is left unaltered, but the lines 
which form it are changed in appearance. 

In malaria, I have noticed that the ridges just under the line of 
head are interrupted by minute, white dots, not large enough to 
break the ridge line. In an enlarged print or under the microscope, 
they look like tiny white speckles scattered inside the ridge line. 

Intestinal infections show up as irregular breaks in the ridges and 
pieces gouged out of their edge, giving the ridges a crenellated out- 
line. Non-malignant ulcers are associated with lack of definition in 
the ridging of the skin caused by irregular interruptions and a sort of 
featheriness in the ridges' outlines. 

Many fine dots along the line of heart are indicative of heart 
disease. When these dots increase, clustering in crowded bunches at 
any one point, there is usually also a break or weakening of the 
heart line at that point, presaging danger of cardiac failure. Muscu- 


lar deterioration of the heart may be shown by a melting of the 
ridges under the heart line into clusters of fine dots. 

The great variety of toxic conditions which may originate in the 
intestines is accompanied by as great a variation of ridge malfor- 
mations, usually situated just under the line of head and near its 
termination. Locating the seat of a troublesome systemic infection 
is thus aided by study of the hand. Diagnosis of the nature of the 
infection requires careful consideration of all the symptoms, includ- 
ing analysis of the palmar ridges. 

One of the discoveries of modern medicine is that simple rheuma- 
tism, which used to be blamed for every little-understood inflamma- 
tion or pain and ache, is really a complex of widely divergent fac- 
tors. Dental infections, cardiac weaknesses, faulty diet all may play 
their part in causing the disease. Naturally, the palmar indications 
differ with the nature of the ailment, and it is my belief that com- 
plete understanding of their significance will go far toward identify- 
ing the conditions underlying symptoms generally classed as rheu- 
matism. This, in turn, will point to the specific treatment and pos- 
sible cure. 

Where the palm gives evidence of a functional disorder of the 
intestinal tract, where there are many small islanded formations and 
tiny perpendicular lines from the outer edge of the hand in towards 
the center of the palm, acute rheumatism may be looked for. In 
arthritis, there is always some indication of bacterial intoxication. 
Usually the life and head lines will be feathered with minute dots, 
giving them a light, fluffy appearance. Even the fate line is some- 
times so marked. 

Perhaps it is in early identification of the dread disease, cancer, 
that study of the hand will have its greatest value to medicine. 
All authorities are agreed that early diagnosis and treatment in the 
first stages are essential. Yet the first symptoms are often so vague 
that they are passed over as of no consequence and medical care 
is postponed until too late. 

Authorities find that the hand quite definitely indicates the 
predisposition to cancer, and early stages of the disease can readily 
be detected. Malignant growth can be identified by the typical 
malformation of the palmar ridges. Seen under the microscope, these 


show regular breaks made by clean transverse cuts at fairly even 
intervals, giving the ridges the general appearance of rows of tiny 
soldiers. This cancerous formation is almost always placed just under 
the end of the line of head. 

In the same way, the hand will show characteristic deviations from 
normal surface markings for diabetes, disorders of the genital sys- 
tem, kidneys, liver or nerve and circulatory machinery. It is hardly 
within the scope of this book to enlarge on these symptoms, nor is 
it the place of a layman to theorize too extensively about the nature 
and cause of disease. On one thing I want to caution the reader. 
Proper diagnosis cannot be made through the hands alone, certainly 
not through casual perception of a single indication in the hands. 
A careful student of the hand must balance all the facts presented 
to arrive at even the most tentative hypothesis. A physician will 
still need to place his reliance mainly on the symptoms he knows. 
I am only suggesting that he add the symptoms appearing in the 
hand to those he is accustomed to study and accept in evidence. I 
believe that the additional information thus gained will give some 
measure of guidance, especially in the determination of predisposi- 
tions and the identification of diseases in their very early stages. 

PART THREE The Hand as Medium for Identification 


THE one use to which study of the hands has been put with thor- 
ough scientific method is in fingerprinting for the purposes of iden- 
tification. Knowledge that individual fingerprints differ from each 
other is no new thing. The Chinese were aware of this fact many 
thousands of years ago and made use of it as a means of verifying 
important documents. 

It is only recently, however, that the western world has adopted 
fingerprinting as an aid to its police work and in keeping track of 
records embracing large numbers of persons. The master criminal 
identification file which the Federal government has built up in 
Washington contains what is probably the largest collection of finger- 
prints in the world, each classified according to type, and no two 
exactly alike. 

This is the basis of the fingerprint identification system that 
there are no two sets of fingerprints in the world which are exactly 
alike and further that each record is a permanent one. Though the 
hands change in the shape even of their bony structure, though the 
strong, muscular hand of a youth will become flabby and corded with 
age, though the individual lines and markings of the palm may be 
completely altered in the course of a lifetime, the design made by 
the papillary ridges on the fingertips remains the same throughout 
life. If the ridges are mutilated, they grow back in the identical 
pattern. The ridging in the palm is subject to slight alterations, more 
in the nature of its lines (as I have indicated in the chapter about 
the medical application of hand analysis) than in the formation of 
the pattern, but the palm, too, can be used for identification 

How is it possible to classify and use the fingerprints if they grow 




in such infinite variety? The explanation is that, though they vary 
in detail, the designs on our fingertips all conform to a few basic 
patterns. They are all evolved from the ridging which grows in con- 
centric circles on the cushion pads which animals have on their feet. 


Nearest to this design of concentric circles is the true whorl (see 
plate 63). Next is the spiral whorl, which is the beginning of the 
design breakdown with its tendency for the ridges to straighten out. 
The spiral whorl is usually composed of two ridges starting at a 

central point and widening out into ever larger spiral circles, like the 
vortex of a whirlpool. 

The third design in the ridge patterns is the loop formation (see 
plate 64). In the first of these, the double loop type, the two ridges 
at the center of the spiral whorl have lengthened into two U-shaped 
loops, opening in opposite directions, and the ridges of the fingertip 
flow in rounded arcs from these two loops as their center. The single 
loop is a still further step in the process of widening and unwinding 
the center of the whorl design. It differs from the double loop only 
in that one of the loops has disappeared, but its lines still follow 
each other closely* from their common center. 

The fourth design is that in which the U-shaped loops open out 


into a wider arch curving about an upright in the tented arch forma- 
tion (see plate 65). Then there is the ordinary arch (see plate 66), 
and finally there is the composite form which, as its name indicates, 
combines the ridges in loops, whorls or arches (see plate 67). 

These basic patterns, the whorl with its variations, the loop, the 
arch, the tented arch and the composite are the basis for our system 

"."' "' .VtV?"* 



of identification by fingerprints. In the millions of fingers in this 
world, there may be individual digits a very few which are exactly 
alike, having the same number of ridge lines, of the same thickness, 
with breaks, changes of direction and curves all exactly duplicated. 


But there will be no two hands in which the ten digits are all exactly 
the same and in the same combination. 

Though criminal identification is still the best known use of finger- 
prints, many other applications are now coming into practice. A few 
banks have substituted fingerprints for a witnessed cross as au- 
thorization from depositors who cannot write. Similarly, the govern- 

ment requires fingerprints from all who entrust money to the Postal 
Savings system. In these two cases, institutions which have accepted 
responsibility wish to safeguard themselves by making sure of the 
identity of those they deal with. The protection extends to both the 
institution and the depositor. 

Important documents may be signed by fingerprint rather than 
by pen. In this connection, if the object is to prevent fraud, a signa- 
ture ought certainly to accompany the print on wills, deeds or sim- 
ilar papers, for it is obviously much simpler to obtain an involun- 
tary print from the hand than to force a person to sign documents. 
Prints from the hands of a dead man, an unconscious one, or one 
who was under physical constraint might easily be obtained. 

Other objections can also be raised, not to the use of fingerprints 
for identification, but to their use for oppression. The fingerprinting 
of employes by "hotels, factories, mills has been used in industrial 
warfare to exclude union men from employment. 


Yet these objections are not to fingerprinting per se, as a means 
of identification, but to its misuse in the hands of certain agencies. 
The benefits to be derived from fingerprint records of everyone are 
immense. Hospitals have been known to mix babies at their birth. 
The instances of such confusion are rare, but think of the anguish 
of even one pair of parents who will never be certain if the child 
they have is really their own. Law cases, claims on inheritances, 
various impostures have resulted. Handprinting at birth would com- 
pletely eliminate such unsolvable riddles of identity, for with the 
print record of a new-born child could be taken an impression from the 
mother's hand. 

What of the foundling babies, abandoned to the cold care of in- 
stitutions while parents or other relatives are perhaps seeking to 
find them again? What of lost children, found by the police, whose 
description, bearing and childish tricks are advertised in the press, 
but never with such accuracy that parents feel completely relieved of 
doubt until they actually see their child again. What of the run- 
aways? Publication of their handprints would lead to immediate 
identification. Handprint records would certainly speed the hunt for 
kidnaped children and quickly dispose of those false leads which 
mark every widely publicized case. 

Many institutions have come to realize the value of finger and 
handprints. Maternity hospitals, finding that the tiny ridges on a 
baby's fingertips are too minute to make clear impressions, take 
prints of the foot. Footprints, however, do change more or less dur- 
ing the course of a lifetime. Because of this, Dr. Gilbert Palmer Pond 
has evolved a means which provides identification for life, using 
prints of an infant's palm. The ridging on the eminences of the palm 
is usually coarser than that on baby's fingertips, and such hospital 
impressions supply a means of identification which can be used for 
a lifetime. For absolute certainty, however, supplementing a baby's 
palm print with impressions of the fingertips taken at school age is 

At the end of this book you will find sheets of sensitized hand- 
impression paper. One use to which you can put these sheets is as a 
sort of new family bible. Instead of recording the signatures of all 
the members of your family, you can here collect their handprints; 


but I shall discuss this in greater detail in a later chapter which gives 
directions for the making of impressions. 

I had one experience which brought the value of family handprint 
records home to me with great force. True, coincidence played an im- 
portant part in the occurrence, yet without the aid of handprints, 
coincidence could not have effected its story-book work. My story 
begins a few years ago, when a woman of prominent family came to 
see me. The story she told me was a surprising one. Fifteen years 
before, she had married a young man of good family. His addiction 
to drink did not come as a complete surprise to her ; but the extent 
of his failing did. Normally a thoughtful, rather moody person, her 
husband became quarrelsome and even violent when drunk. His 
weakness took more and more of a hold on him as time wore on. 
Had it not been for her infant son, she would have left her husband. 

After two years of marriage, a particularly violent scene brought 
things to a climax. She threatened to have him forcibly committed 
and given a cure. He retaliated with violence, and she had to flee 
for her life. Unfortunately, her parents, to whom she immediately 
went for aid, were not at home, and she paced up and down the 
nallway for hours awaiting their return. As soon as they could, a 
family group rushed over to her unhappy home to take the child, but 
it was already too late. The house was empty except for the ser- 
vants who had returned to find both the year-old boy and his father 

Of course they searched. At first, wishing to keep the tragedy 
trom being made public, they hired private detectives. Then, in 
desperation, they appealed to the police. But for months, no one 
could find a trace of the missing pair. You can imagine the mother's 
agony. She had endured humiliation, even violence, from her husband 
for the sake of the child only to have her son taken from her. Worst 
of all was the uncertainty. Her waking moments were haunted by 
pictures of the baby, cold, neglected, hungry. Her dreams repeated 
the scenes with terrifying realism. 

At last there was a gleam of hope. The police picked up the hus- 
band in a small Pennsylvania town. The entire family rushed West to 
see him. When they arrived, they found a shivering skeleton of a man 


tossing in the last stages of delirium tremens. The hospital gave no 
hope of life and no prospect of a rational word before death. 

Fifteen years passed fifteen years of constant search, of oc- 
casional hope, of ultimate despair. 

There was little I could do. Naturally, I did not know where the 
child was. As much to bolster up the mother's spirits as for any use- 
ful purpose, I asked whether she had an impression of her baby's 
hand, telling her that such a print would at least help identify the 
boy if she ever found him. 

At first she said no she had never thought of having the child's 
handprint recorded. Then, suddenly, she recalled a series of tiny 
prints on the wall beside the crib, where the baby had steadied his 
first attempts to stand. The child's room had never been touched 
since the tragic night when it was emptied of its little occupant. 

We rushed over to examine it. By a chemical process, I brought 
out the impressions on the wall and had photographs of them made. 
I studied the prints very carefully, trying to comfort the mother 
with all the information I could give her about her son. From the 
hand, I formed a picture of a very intelligent, well-balanced youth 
whose inheritance from his unhappy father was completely over- 
shadowed by the good qualities with which his mother had endowed 
him. ki Wherever he is," I told the unhappy mother, "I am sure that 
he is someone you could be proud of." 

Though the handprint did not tell us where the missing boy was y 
it gave his mother renewed hope. With her new means of identifica- 
tion as an aid, she began a systematic search of orphanage records, 
tracing the careers of boys who had been sent out into the world. 
Strangely enough, it was not she, with her careful work, who dis- 
covered the boy. It was I, and quite by accident. 

Many months had passed without my hearing from her. I was 
lecturing in Akron, Ohio, and was scheduled to address the high- 
school graduating class. The students, now preparing to take on the 
responsibilities of adulthood, were anxious to know the stories in 
their hands, and I agreed to look at all their prints, saying a brief 
word about each. 

One impression among the many struck me as familiar. I thought 


that I had analyzed it before and, calling out the boy's name which 
was written on the impression paper, I asked whether I had already 
told him about his hand. He said that I had not. 

Yet the print was not a strange one. I knew I had seen it before. I 
have a very peculiar memory. Some of you remember faces. Others 
can recall a person's name even after years of separation and only 
casual acquaintance. I am that way with hands. I never forget an 
interesting hand, and even more usual ones stay in my mind for a 
long time. 

I asked the boy to speak to me after the exercises and learned that 
he was an adopted son, taken to an orphanage by the New Jersey 
family with whom his father had boarded him, rescued from there by 
his present foster parents. Even then I did not guess the truth, but 
on the train returning to New York I continued to study the boy's 
handprint. Suddenly, the little imprint we had taken off a white wall 
next to a baby's crib was pictured in my mind. I was not yet sure. 
Certainty awaited my actual comparison of this new print with the 
photograph I had in my files. A half hour's study of the two hands, 
and I was convinced. 

The rest I need not tell you in detail how I called the anxious 
mother, how we traced the movements of this boy from the time he 
was left a nameless boarder to the day I chanced on him in Akron, 
how all the other evidence upheld my certainty You can imagine the 
mother's joy and the son's happiness at finding his own family. 

A handprint record is also immensely valuable in connection with 
the aged and the sick. Have you not often read in the papers of men 
and women picked up wandering in the streets, unable to remem- 
ber their names, their addresses, their occupations, or anything which 
could be used to restore them again to their families? 

I recall one instance, which recently came to my attention, of 
an elderly woman who was led out of a large New York department 
store at closing time. She appeared to be a person of culture and 
refinement, accustomed to care and thoughtfulness from others. A 
victim of amnesia, she had forgotten what brought her to the store, 
who she was or where she came from. Institutions gave her their 
comfortless hospitality while her frantic family in another city 
appealed to the police, to travelers' aid societies, to welfare agencies, 


and even to hired private detectives. They spent terrifying hours 
examining unidentified bodies in morgues and studying photographs 
of other old women, picked up without name or associations. Only 
the restoration of her memory finally brought this grandmother and 
her family together again. Think of the suffering which might have 
been avoided had her family been able to send her fingerprints to 
police and hospitals all over the country. 

Just to get an idea of the magnitude of the riddle of unsolved 
identity to which fingerprints would yield an answer, consider the 
lost and found statistics of Paris. Yearly, thousands of men, women, 
young boys and girls come to Paris and are never heard of again. In 
1935, according to police records, almost sixteen thousand persons 
were reported "missing" in France's capital. These include husbands 
who have deserted their families, mothers who have left children, 
runaway boys and girls, old, young and middle-aged, the sick and 
the well, the lonely and the sorely missed, the honest and the crooked 
on second thought, not the crooked, for criminals' trademarks are 
on record in the files of the Paris Surete, just as American felons' are 
in Washington. 

And these amazing figures apply to a city where everyone is re- 
quired to register and carry papers of identification. In this country, 
the numbers are even more astounding. The New York City Missing 
Persons Bureau is now burdened with over thirty thousand identifi- 
cation cases each year. Eight thousand dead are buried every year in 
New York's potter's field, some because their families are unable to 
meet funeral expenses, but many more because they met death in 
accidents and were never identified. Meantime, their families' grief 
is continually renewed by uncertainty. The sparsely populated county 
of Los Angeles in California reported for one year over one hundred 
amnesia victims unidentified and consequently committed to insti- 

These figures apply to representative cities in normal times. In 
fire, flood and earthquake, the number of unidentified victims is 
appalling. Children, separated from their families, are never reunited 
with them. The dead and the injured are unclaimed. Bereaved fam- 
ilies are in doubt for years about the fate of their loved ones. When 
the Ohio River overflowed its banks and routed thousands out of 


their homes, scattering family units, when the Morro Castle burned, 
when San Francisco was devastated by fire and quakes, rescue 
workers spent harrowing hours tracing the identity of living and 
dead; and anxious families waited, often for news which never came. 

The government recognized the aid which fingerprinting would 
give when it ordered impressions made of all enlisted men in the 
world war. For this reason, the number of missing and unknown 
soldier dead was much cut down. 

I would certainly not favor compulsory fingerprinting of everyone. 
In the first place, compulsion in such matters is hardly in the spirit 
of a democratic country; in the second, as I have said, records of 
this sort might very well be misused. But that does not mean that 
use of fingerprints and handprints for identification need be post- 
poned until a new society eliminates man's oppression of man. On 
the contrary, private records made by yourself for your own use are 
today both feasible and of untold value. 

PART FO UR The Hand as Vocational Guide 


IN DISCUSSING the application of hand analysis to vocational 
guidance, I wish first to take issue with the neat tabular classifica- 
tions by which palmists used to assign a person to life as baker, 
broker, soldier or prima donna by virtue of a single indication of the 
hand. Nothing like that is possible. In prescribing a life's work, we 
must be as open minded and exact as a physician in prescribing a 
cure for diabetes. Tables sweepingly recommending certain vocations 
to hands of a given conformation are comparable to the medicine 
man's cure-all, and quack remedies in this field can be just as dis- 
astrous as in medicine. 

I do not mean that hands are of no value in choosing your voca- 
tion. On the contrary, careful hand analysis, in my opinion, is an 
important branch of both psychology and physiology, or of the 
combined science which will some day probably take their place. To 
date, those systems of vocational guidance which lay claim to any 
scientific basis use the methods and content of both these sciences 
psychology which deals with the workings of man's more or less 
intangible processes, and physiology which deals with the tangible, 
physical evidences of his functioning. Study of hands, with its bear- 
ing on both the mental or psychic aspect of man and on the medical 
or physical, should certainly be a part of all efforts to fit round 
pegs into round roles, square pegs into square holes. Study of man 
must precede proper direction of him, whether by himself or by 
others, and the hands, I have found, are a sure aid in man's study 
of man. 

In my opinion the time to begin vocational training is in child- 
hood. During the formative years, talents may be either developed 
naturally or twisted into unhealthy channels Though specialized 



training should usually be postponed until much later, a general 
direction should be decided upon quite early in life. 

In this connection, it is necessary for parents to take a most ob- 
jective point of view. Too often, I have seen promising children 
ruined because parents insisted on living their lives for them. That 
is not at all what I mean by early training. Where choice between 
various methods and subjects of study is required, the child's apti- 
tudes and strength should be the guides. Certainly not the parents' 

If a child's hand is much lined and flabby in consistency, you will 
find nervous excitability far beyond what is normal for a young per- 
son. Of course, glandular disturbances may be the cause, but paren- 
tal mistakes, overindulgence, lack of regularity, bad temper in the 
parents, are almost sure to be an aggravating factor. 

When, in a much-lined hand, the life line and the line of head are 
joined for a considerable distance, you have a timid child, dependent 
on others for encouragement. Such a child needs to be given self- 
reliance. He requires tranquility in the home and the companionship 
of others of his own age. If the headline is of good quality, he 
may be mentally precocious, yet arrested in his development because 
he is afraid to venture. Long, pointed fingers increase the sensitive 

A child whose head and life lines are wide apart in both hands, 
who has firm unlined palms, will require cautious management. His 
independence should not be curbed, but impulsiveness and reckless- 
ness will need to be modified. 

From a child's hand you can tell whether the wonderful stories 
which all children recount as true are the products of a vivid imagi- 
nation, of illogical thinking, or of a wish to impress you or to excuse 
himself. The one characteristic should be cultivated, the other ten- 
dencies can be cured. From the child's hand you can determine how 
heavy a burden of study and physical exertion he is able to bear. You 
can also pick the natural aptitudes to be developed usefully and find 
the lacks which should be supplemented. A child with very short fin- 
gers can be taught method, though he should never be forced to spend 
his life at work which requires minute care for success. A child with 


long, straight fingers will not usually need to be trained in orderli- 
ness, but he may require that his interests be broadened. 

When, in a child's hand, the line of head is broken or full of 
islands, it denotes some weakness of the brain. Often such a child 
will appear extremely intelligent, keen, full of curiosity, absorbing 
knowledge quickly and outdistancing his playmates at school. But 
concentration and memory will frequently be lacking, and a child 
with this type of headline requires careful supervision. He is likely 
to have great mental activity of a disorganized nature, combined 
with physical weakness. Therefore, he should be built up physically 
and at the same time restrained and directed in his studies and 

A line of head, curving far down towards the wrist and connected 
at its origin with the line of life, is characteristic of extremely irri- 
table and temperamental children. This formation indicates a lively 
imagination, nervous excitability and delicate health. 

A child having a very soft palm, pointed fingers and a sloping line 
of head is usually dreamy, inactive and somewhat indolent. Train- 
ing in sports will do much to counteract the bad tendencies of this 
nature. A child with a very narrow palm is likely to be selfish. Group 
play, development of communal interests and sharing of his posses- 
sions are to be encouraged in such a child. Fingers spread very wide 
apart usually go with generosity, mental independence and lack of 
conventionality. In a child with such a hand, there must be careful 
analysis of the relative strength of the other factors. Too great 
unconventionality in the hand of a sentimentalist and weakling 
will lead to bohemianism without accomplishment. On the other 
hand, we owe much of our progress to persons who were not awed 
by the conventions of thought and manners. 

It seems to me that hands are of especial importance in the train- 
ing of children because many natural gifts are not otherwise ap- 
parent until much later in life. So long as an Albert Einstein can 
fail in school mathematics, we must look for other means of guid- 
ing ourselves in child training than merely the school record and 
behavior in the home. The study of hands ought to be one of those 



SPECIALIZATION is the keynote of present-day vocations. For 
greater efficiency, man has subdivided even the physical labor of 
roadbuilding or the manufacture of an automobile into many 
processes with special machinery and special operators assigned to 
each. As for the sciences and humanities, our fund of knowledge is 
adding to itself such detail that one man is expected to master only 
a small fraction of the tremendous whole. Physicians have divided 
the body into tens of little bits, and doctors are ear specialists, eye 
specialists, abdominal surgeons, dermatologists. The general practi- 
tioner is almost extinct. Whereas the ancients produced men who 
could speak authoritatively about the movements of astral bodies, 
the plant life of the earth, the mental processes of man, the conven- 
tions of art, literature and drama; today a man does well indeed to 
become expert in but a single branch of one science. You have 
electro-physicists, physicists who deal only in the dynamics of wave 
mechanics, physicists who spend their lives studying radioactivity. 
Each devotes years to training for his profession. Theoretically, a 
mistaken choice is not uncorrectable, but it is often practically so. 
Men who might have, been great statesmen are forced by their fam- 
ilies or by some mistaken boyhood sentimentality to study and be- 
come unhappy and unsuccessful surgeons. Women who might com- 
pete with men in adventurous activities are condemned because of 
family pressure to lives in quiet, "womanly" occupations. 

I do not want to take too unreal an attitude about our ability to 
pick and choose our life's work. I fully realize that poverty and lack 
of education, the necessity to go to work very young and all such 
very real circumstances interfere with our freedom to become all 
we are capable of being. Certainly, a person planning his future will 
need to consider the trends in modern industry and professions and 
not choose a certain type of work which has been superseded by newer 
methods. Certainly he will have to figure on the labor market, the 
supply of trained persons in relation to the abundance or scarcity 
of jobs in a particular field. Yet, to the extent that self-knowledge 
will help in adjusting people to conditions as they exist or in chang- 


ing those conditions, to that extent will hand analysis be a real aid in 
vocational guidance. 

To begin with, let us classify the vocations, though I shall make 
no attempt to be all-inclusive in my list. There are certain occupa- 
tions which require method, order and precision above all else. 
Accounting, bookkeeping, office management, various kinds of clerk- 
ing, laboratory work in chemistry or physics, secondary research, 
the keeping of records, historical, geological, ethnological research, 
administration, the law, in its less spectacular aspects, even the 
adventurous callings like soldiering and navigation require disci- 
pline and order. For patience and method, look especially to long, 
straight fingers. If they have square tips, expect practicality in ad- 
dition, and little imagination. Long, squaretipped fingers are ideal 
for the bookkeeper or record clerk. 

Long, tapering fingers, provided that the thumb is strong enough, 
and mount Jupiter prominent enough to give leadership, might be 
excellent for a government administrative officer. The length of his 
fingers would give him the patience and methodical approach neces- 
sary for dealing with endless details. The tapering fingers would 
provide sufficient sensitiveness and intuition to facilitate his dealings 
with others, to help him gauge the public temper. A strong thumb 
and firm hand would give him energy and determination, lack of 
which is the most outstanding fault of long, tapering fingers. Mount 
Jupiter would add qualities of leadership and ambition. For states- 
manship, as contrasted with efficient government clerking, a wide 
palm ought also to provide the breadth of outlook and energy of 
the spatulate shape, and the line of head should be of good quality, 
preferably straight and well-balanced. 

Short fingers are usually associated with a larger, more compre- 
hensive point of view than is permitted by the long-fingered preoc- 
cupation with details. Among the short-fingered occupations, I would 
list promoters, publicists, financiers, investment bankers, bridge 
builders ( though not the draftsmen and subordinate architects and 
engineers who figure stresses and compute the arches and suspen- 
sions), theatrical entrepeneurs, advertising experts, traders, adven- 
turers, aviators, and so on. Short-fingered, vigorous hands, in which 
the mental aspects are little developed usually belong to those who 


work at out-door occupations calling for considerable physical 

The hand of great dexterity will usually be neither exceptionally 
short- nor long-fingered. Skilled mechanics, surgeons, operators of 
precision machines, cabinet makers, manicurists, watchmakers, em- 
broiderers, barbers, sculptors, pianists, typesetters these will gen- 
erally have fingers of moderate length, and the other indications of 
the hand will show how the manual dexterity can be put to use. 
A long, thin second phalanx and prominent base on the thumb often 
indicate the accurate touch so necessary to the surgeon, dentist and 
skilled mechanic. 

While the length of the fingers will give some indication of the 
general method of working and thinking natural to a man, the 
fingertips will greatly modify that preliminary finding. It is a safe 
assumption to assign sensitivity and intuition to pointed and taper- 
ing tips, practically to square ones, and energy to spready ones. 
The various combinations of differently shaped tips with fingers of 
different lengths will be even more significant than the story of 
either the fingers or the tips alone. 

I think, however, that I can permit myself one generalization in 
connection with the various shapes of fingertips. Persons who have 
many dealings with others, whose success is dependent on their 
judgment of others and on tact and intuition, such as interviewers in 
employment agencies, head waiters, actors, teachers, claim adjusters, 
salesmen, contact men of all kinds, welfare workers, beauty oper- 
ators, decorators, hotel managers such persons should have the ma- 
jority of their fingertips of tapering shape. Those whose work is 
largely practical and whose relations with coworkers are more or less 
impersonal can safely have squarish fingertips. Those who must 
dominate others have spatulate tips. 

From the tips and fingers, we can form a rough picture of the 
kinds of work for which a man is fitted. Of course, to divide voca- 
tions by rigid lines is both incorrect and misleading. A mining en- 
gineer, assigned to supervise a new development in unexplored moun- 
tain regions, will require method and precision to make assays, to 
figure engineering problems. He will need tact, ingenuity, under- 
standing and authority to deal with a strange people. He should have 


daring and physical energy and endurance. His hand would have to 
be a mixed hand, yet with certain traits outstanding. 

The writer, the lawyer, the public speaker, the preacher, the news- 
paper reporter, the salesman, the auctioneer, the canvasser, the inter- 
preter, the translator, need strong development of the Mercury 
finger. This finger governs verbal facility, whether of the spoken or 
written word. Yet an easy flow of words by no means makes either 
the great author or the great speaker; nor even the successful and 
aggressive salesman. Each occupation requires other gifts besides. 
For each of these professions there is no one ideal combination of 
handmarkings, representing combinations of talents; there are many. 
And for almost every hand there is more than one fitting avenue of 
expression. Your hand will not so much tell you the one and only 
way by which you may succeed and be happy as indicate the paths by 
which you cannot, and also, show you a number by which you might. 

As illustration, I should like to describe a number of hands of per- 
sons who have found the work in which they could be satisfied. The 
first is the hand of a successful business man. He has a strong 
thumb, well balanced, with the will phalanx and the reasoning pha- 
lanx of about the same length. He is not unduly obstinate nor is he 
weak-willed and easily swayed by others. His line of head is straight 
and firm. That line does not show excess imagination, but rather a 
utilitarian point of view. His palm is flat and not overly wide, a 
shape which goes with well-defined interests and concentration on 
those interests. His heavy Mercury finger with its spatulate tip points 
to shrewdness and energy in business dealings. 

The hand of a popular and versatile actor showed these charac- 
teristics: conic, tapered shape, indicating artistic sensitivity; long 
fingers, wide apart and flexible, showing concern with detail, a broad 
mind and adaptability; a supple thumb, turned back, indicating good 
reasoning power and generous exuberance; a long, deeply marked 
line of head sloping down to the mount of Luna, indicating a vivid 
and creative imagination. 

The hand of a friend of mine, a prominent engineer, is squarely 
built and practical in shape, giving him order, precision, great de- 
termination and perseverance. His line of head is straight, starting 
some distance above the line of life. Both the Apollo finger and the 


mount of Mercury are prominent, giving him a sort of instinctive 
business sense and a practical, scientific mind. It is true that he 
lacks originality and versatility, but through persistence and good 
judgment, aided to a considerable extent by sheer good luck, as his 
strong line of Apollo indicated, he has become remarkably successful. 

Another friend of mine, an inventor, also shows a scientific mind, 
but his other qualities are far different from those of the practical 
engineer of whom I just spoke. His hand is spatulate, broad, with 
fairly long, well-developed, widely separated fingers. His outstand- 
ing traits are quick decision and action, unconventionality, clear 
reasoning power, a gift for taking care of detail. His strong line of 
head, curving slightly upward towards Mercury at its end, gives him 
an analytical mind and the ability to concentrate. 

My barber has a line of head joined to his line of life for a short 
distance with a slight slope at its end. His fingers are fairly long and 
tapering. He is an inoffensive, shy man, sympathetic in manner and 
possessing a strong sense of responsibility. 

Of course, it would be impossible for me to give an example of a 
hand for each profession or trade, much less exhaust all the possi- 
bilities for each. Few of us realize how many different vocations there 
are. That reason, among others, accounts for so many misfits. We 
choose our life's work out of necessity, taking the first thing which 
is offered; or in a spirit of emulation, trying what someone we ad- 
mire has succeeded in ; or out of friendship, taking a trade which our 
best friend has chosen; or out of obedience, letting our parents de- 
cide for us. Most of us consider only two or three alternatives before 
we find ourselves somehow headed in a given direction. I shall make 
no attempt to list the many thousands of occupations. Below is a 
partial list of occupations beginning with a, b and c. Such lists can 
be made for every letter in the alphabet. 

author auctioneer 

architect assayer 

artist automobile mechanic 

actor agent 

attorney - aviator 

art teacher accountant 



acoustic engineer 

adding machine operator 


advertising counsellor 

advertising copywriter 

aircraft engineer 

animal dealer 

animal trainer 

antique dealer 


art needleworker 

automobile dealer 




beauty specialist 





beverage manufacturer 













clock and watchmaker 

credit investigator 

comptometer operator 

civil engineer 


cabinet maker 

camera maker 



carpet cleaner 

carpet designer 

cement contractor 

check-room girl 

chimney sweep 




claim adjuster 


commercial agent 




Look over this list. Besides these, there are hundreds of other 
occupations, not even touched on here, others like subdivisions of 
the ones I have mentioned. Consider yourself in relation to all the 
vocations you can think of and then study yourself objectively, 
using the hand as one of your guides, to decide whether you are well 
fitted for the four or five different callings which seem most to 
interest you. 

PART FIVE Analyses of Some Famous Hands 

In the following pages you will find the hands and analyses of 
ten world famous personages outstanding in different lines of en- 
deavor. Observe the various signs and lines in their hands that in- 
dicate their fame and success. 

pure spatulate a most unusual thing in this world of mixed and 
contradictory personalities. This, of course, shows a person of great 
independence who necessarily expresses himself in action. As you 
know, advanced and liberal views go with a spatulate hand, and 
President Roosevelt is now known throughout the world as an ex- 
ponent of progress. 

As to the fingers, they are quite short and heavy, showing a very 
broad planning ability, a mind which conceives great projects. 
Apollo and Mercury are both strong, which tells us that the president 
is social-minded, that he is of sanguinary temperament and that he is 
both a gifted orator and though economic royalists might disagree, 
an excellent business man. The Saturn finger is unusually short. 
There is nothing of the recluse or introvert in Mr. Roosevelt. And, 
compared to the Apollo finger, the index finger is also short. I would 
say that personal ambition is decidedly not one of the president's 
strong traits. His qualities of leadership are, however, displayed by 
a heavy mount of Jupiter. 

The very free-set, heavy thumb immediately strikes your eye 
when you study the president's handprint. This shows great gen- 
erosity, independence and will. His broad, open-minded approach to 
problems is also out by the line of life which curves far out 
into his hand. At the same time, the line of life is both deep and 




long and is bolstered by the sister line of vitality, indicating remark- 
able physical endurance. 

The line of head, which is unusually long, runs straight across the 
hand, a sign of excellent, balanced intellect, the ability to think 
clearly, forcefully and independently. He has an intuitive grasp of 
things and an immediate understanding of people. He is by no means 
stubborn. On the contrary, he is very ready to seek and take advance, 
but he must be convinced that counsel is sound before he will fol- 
low it. 

The president's line of destiny is a most fortunate one for anyone 
in a public career. Starting on the mount of Luna, it shows creative 
force and the helpful influence of others friends and relatives in 
furthering his advancement. The termination of his line of destiny, 
which joins the line of heart, points to an exceedingly happy mar- 
riage, also influential in bringing success. But the line of Apollo, 
beginning as it does on the line of destiny, says that Mr. Roosevelt 
himself supplemented the aid from others by his own efforts and is 
himself greatly responsible for the high place he holds. 

Loyalty and idealism characterize Franklin Roosevelt's affections. 
Notice also the three lines, in trident formation, found at the begin- 
ning of Roosevelt's line of heart under the finger of Jupiter. These 
are the lines of courage, a courage which grows as the obstacles in 
his way become more difficult. 

From the study of his hand I become more and more convinced 
of the greatness of this man and of the place he will occupy in his- 
tory. That was my conviction as far back as 1930, when I first 
studied his hand that he can truly be counted as one of America's 
great men and that his name will go down with those of Washington, 
Jefferson and Lincoln as one who saw his country through a most 
difficult period and successfully championed its democratic principles. 

THE MAN WHO WAS KING does not have a forceful hand. It 
is of the conic type which goes with a sensitive, company-loving, 
easily influenced and easily bored nature. The present Duke of 


Windsor's hand is rather flat, the mount of Luna being particularly 

The lines are delicate, and there are many fine lines scattered over 
his palm. This shows a nervous, worrying disposition. The line of 
life is particularly weak near its beginning, indicating poor health in 
childhood. There is, in fact, a definite break very close to the point 
at which the lines of life and head separate, sign of danger when the 
duke was a boy. 

Sensitiveness and lack of self-reliance are shown by the line of 
head which starts on the line of life and descends to mount Luna. 
This termination, in conjunction with a poorly developed mount of 
Luna, indicates moodiness rather than imagination. The many lines 
descending from the line of head second this indication. So does 
the cross under the finger of Saturn. 

Notice that the thumb is of average length, perhaps a little short, 
and that its will phalanx bends pliantly out and away from the 
hand. A person with this type of thumb is easily swayed and in- 
fluenced by others. 

One of the most interesting things about the hand of the Duke of 
Windsor is that the line of destiny is stopped by the line of heart 
interference of the heart with his career. The line of heart is con- 
siderably chained and dotted, much more so up to the point where 
it meets the line of destiny than thereafter. Such a chained line of 
heart, and the fickleness which usually goes with it, is hardly indica- 
tive of an adult's well-controlled emotions. I would say that the Duke 
of Windsor's hand is that of a man who never grew up. He belongs 
to the "lost generation," whose formative years were lived in the hell 
of Europe's great war. That generation faced death daily and for re- 
laxation turned to irresponsible extravagances and pleasures. Denied 
the right to plan their lives and take responsibilities seriously, they 
refused to become adult. So with Edward Windsor. The war stunted 
his growth as a person. He rebelled against submerging himself in 
the pomp and display of his office. He insisted on his right as an in- 
dividual to duck responsibility for marriage and personal happiness. 

There are two short lines of "marriage" or sex influence on the 
side of his hand, so that I should say that there are or have been 
or are to be two women in his life. 



The lines of restlessness or "travel" are very numerous on the 
lower edge of his hand. 

But, if you look closely, you will see many squares in this hand 
signs of preservation which modify many of the negative qualities. 
From these and the triangle at the base of the line of life, I would 
judge that Edward, Duke of Windsor, may still play an important 
part in world affairs if he asserts his own personality and allows 
himself to grow up. 

THE HAND OF ADOLF HITLER is in many respects a fateful 
hand. It is of the elementary conic or artistic type with tapering 
fingers and thick, fleshy bases, denoting emotionalism, selfishness, 
passion. The two outstanding mounts are found under the fingers of 
Jupiter and Saturn. The first indicates boundless ambition, a domi- 
neering, bullying disposition demanding blind submission from 
everyone. The second shows moodiness, wide swings from one emo- 
tional extreme to another, suicidal morbidity at one moment, then 
fanatic self-adulation, meglomania. 

Hitler's line of life terminates in a cross, which may be the sign 
of a violent end. The line of head terminates in an island which indi- 
cates some kind of weakness functional or organic of the brain. 
The line of heart, which is short, islanded and broken, shows frus- 
tration, bitterness and cruelty. The broken, distorted girdle of Venus 
above the line of heart accentuates the destructiveness and unnat- 
uralness of this hand. 

Most remarkable of all is the line of destiny whose origin is marked 
by a cross, its termination by a star under the middle finger. This 
line marks the destiny of a man whose fate is out of his control. He 
is marked out for an awful, tragic role. The destiny line, you will 
note, stretches unbroken and bare from its tragic beginning to its 
violent end. 

I do not want to make too detailed an analysis of this man Hit- 
ler's hand because I fear that others, finding signs similar to one or 



two of Hitler's in their own hands may assign to themselves the 
qualities which make Hitler what he is. For this reason, I wish again 
to emphasize that no single sign or set of signs can be read apart 
from the indications of the hand as a whole. It is only from the 
study of the totality of a hand that an accurate analysis can be made. 

BENITO MUSSOLINI'S HAND combines the spatulate and the 
conic shapes. He has the vanity of the conic-handed and the energy 
and strength of the spatulate with which to satisfy his vanity. The 
base phalanxes of the spatulate fingers are thick and fleshy, the 
fingertips broad and flat. His hands speak of action, movement, 
boundless energy and restlessness. But even more than that, they tell 
of determination at the cost of humanity, of strength which is bru- 

The line of Apollo shows three distinct phases. Its start, on the 
line of life, points out the self-made man. There is a sharp change of 
direction covering the years from the age of about twenty-five to 
forty. Then comes another new direction, almost a new line, grow- 
ing out of the old. This seems to apply to the period from the age 
of forty to the late fifties. After that there is no more. This robust 
son of a blacksmith was about forty when his blackshirts marched 
on Rome and he became premier. That happened some sixteen years 

The line of destiny, which is exceedingly strong at the period be- 
tween the ages of forty and the late fifties, also ends abruptly at 
about the same time as the line of Apollo. Mussolini's is an historic 
destiny, achieved by blood and force and, I am convinced, short- 
lived in its duration. 

The most interesting things about the lines of life and head are 
the breaks, invariably healed by squares. These show escapes from 
dangers, narrow escapes from violence. But if you look closely you 
will see a final break, especially apparent in the line of head, which 
is not fenced in by a protecting square. Once and that is all that 



any man is allowed there is only the violence and no sign of escape 
from it. 

A few other details are of interest. The strong downward curving 
fork at the beginning of the heart line shows a violent temper. The 
star at the base of the first finger shows qualities of leadership, and 
the use of force in imposing that leadership. The clearly marked, 
almost unbroken girdle of Venus and the predominant mount, 
Venus at the base of the thumb, indicate an oversexed, violent per- 
son. Mussolini's hand is clearly a hand of destiny, but hardly of an 
altogether happy destiny. 

IN PARIS IN 1929, I interviewed most of the French leading per- 
sonalities, statesmen, scientists, politicians, etc. Among them was the 
then president of the French Senate, M. Paul Doumer. He had a 
very unusual hand, in some respects, a very tragic hand. The lines, 
especially the break in the heartline, indicated a strange fatality. At 
the time, he was already past the age of 70 and one of the most 
beloved characters in France. He had given the lives of four sons to 
France during the World War. He was known as a capable adminis- 
trator. He was personally most charming. 

His hand indicated that he would reach the highest honors within 
the reach of a Frenchman and that his subsequent end would be 

I was rather startled by that hand. M. Doumer noticed my puzzled 
expression. Jokingly, he told me that I could tell him anything I saw, 
for he had been told by Mme. Thebes, a famous hand analyst of 
Paris, many years ago, that he would have a violent end. He shrugged 
his shoulders and laughed as much as to say, "What terrors can 
death hold for a man who has reached three score years and ten and 
lived through everything I have seen?" Despite his philosophic atti- 
tude, I saw no need to be brutally direct and told him that all the 
lines in his hand indicated some terrific shock but that I really did 
not know what to say about it. We had a most interesting conversa- 
tion, and then we parted. 



Two years later, while writing Hands of Destiny, a feature of mine 
syndicated by World Feature Service and the United Features Syn- 
dicate, in which I gave analyses of famous hands, I came across the 
impression of M. Doumer's hand. He had by then been elected presi- 
dent of France, thus fulfilling one of the promises of his hand. In 
starting my analysis, I intimated what the break in the heartline 
meant. The feature went to more than one hundred newspapers carry- 
ing it. 

A few weeks later, Paul Doumer was assassinated by a madman. 
Naturally, my seemingly prophetic story then caused quite a sensa- 
tion among the various newspaper editors. 

One thing I should like to stress that I do not go in for predic- 
tions and certainly do not go around foretelling violent death or 
assassination; but in this case, if the lines of the hand were of any 
significance, they certainly indicated a very tragic and sudden end. 
As the reader can see by the breaks in all the lines, especially notice- 
able in the lines of heart and of life, all occurring at about the same 
time, some sort of fatality was indicated for that time. 

A few other indications in this remarkable hand are noteworthy. 
The hand was square in general shape, the fingers somewhat pointed, 
giving him extreme practicality and keen, intuitive insight. The tri- 
angle at the base of the third finger, showing administrative ability 
is an interesting mark. Mount Venus, at the base of the thumb, was 
the most prominent eminence of this hand, showing a person of great 
physical vigor. Altogether, these qualities help explain the peasant 
boy who became president of France and lost his life at the hands of 
a maniac. 

KATHARINE CORNELL'S is one of the most eloquent hands I 
have ever seen. In type, it most closely resembles the conic and 
knotty. From this you can build a personality which, while extremely 
sensitive to the moods and feelings of others, yet possesses a profound 
and independent mental life of its own. There is great spiritual 
strength in this hand. 



The lines of the hand are clear and deep. The line of life, which 
has great strength after it passes the early years, indicates a robust 
physical constitution and unusual personal magnetism. The line of 
heart, which goes up between the bases of the first and second fingers, 
gives Miss Cornell deep, unsentimental, sensitive feeling. In its in- 
dependence from the line of head, this line of heart indicates that 
she has great emotional stability. Her balance allows neither emo- 
tional extravagances nor temperamental outbursts. 

The line of head is a fitting one for an actress. Its early junction 
with the line of life shows sensitivity. The slight slope towards the 
mount of imagination adds that quality, so necessary for a career on 
the stage. 

The line of destiny, which begins with one branch from the mount 
of imagination, is also an excellent indication for an actress. It indi- 
cates not only the part imaginative thinking and feeling play in her 
career but also the helpful influence of others in building that career 
the aid of appreciative audiences, of a producer husband whose 
interests are so closely bound with hers. 

The most unusual mark in Miss Cornell's hand is the semicircle 
ringing the base of her first finger the ring of Solomon. This gives 
her intuitive understanding of dramatic values and emotional grasp. 
Strangely enough, this mark is present in the hand of Greta Garbo 
and was to be seen under Sarah Bernhardt's first finger. Whenever an 
actress is able to project to her audience an inner beauty and spirit- 
uality, I look for this mark. 

Another interesting sign in Miss Cornell's hand is the cross at the 
base of her third finger which indicates a very keen sense of observa- 
tion. From this I would judge that her impersonations are based not 
only on intuitive understanding, but also on study of reality. The 
ability to represent what she feels and sees is aided by a flowing ease 
of expression, indicated by her long finger of Mercury. 

FANNIE HURST'S HAND is knotty and conic in its predominant 
characteristics. This combination gives her both the independence of 
thought and the sensitive understanding of people which her writ- 


ings show. The palm of the hand, you will notice, is covered with a 
fine network of delicate lines, showing her intensity, partly nervous, 
and her openness to impressions from things and conditions around 
her. Her lined hand is also an indication of early struggles and un- 

The first finger, though smaller than the second, is slightly larger 
than the third. This indicates strong ambition. But the square under 
the first finger, while it does not lessen the ambition, counteracts 
whatever bitterness there might be from failure to achieve success 
in all its desired aspects. The long finger of Mercury is the outward 
symbol of Miss Hurst's ease of expression. 

Miss Hurst's line of life, circling the heel of the thumb, is delicate, 
though very clear and without breaks, indicating strong resistance 
and vitality. The line of head, which begins on the line of life, shows 
sensitiveness early in life and lack of self-confidence. The clear and 
independent path taken by the line of head later on indicates her 
growing independence and self-reliance. Notice that the headline 
splits at its termination, sending one branch towards the mount of 
imagination, the other to the negative mount of Mars, portraying 
her qualities of deepseeing imagination and moral courage. 

Miss Hurst's line of heart is slightly chained, though the quality 
of the line is forceful. I should say that Miss Hurst is not altogether 
consistent in her emotions, though her feelings are intense. The 
termination of the line of heart at the base of the first finger indicates 
a strong sense of social responsibility. 

A number of special signs have unusual significance in Miss Hurst's 
hand. The line of intuition is very well defined, and there is a cross, 
usually associated with keen observation, under the third finger. 
Thus, Miss Hurst has at her command three qualities invaluable to 
a writer: fluency, observation a basis for realism, and intuitive 
understanding. The triangle between the line of destiny and the line 
of intuition shows Miss Hurst's ability to apply her understanding 
in telling fashion. 

Miss Hurst's thumb is a very strong one. The joint is knotty, 
showing a somewhat philosophic and abstract trend to her reasoning. 
The will phalanx is weil developed. The setting is low and free, sign 
of a generous, uninhibited nature. 



Two mounts are especially well developed in Miss Hurst's hand: 
the mount of Luna, or imagination, forming the outer heel of the 
hand; and the mount of Mercury, which designates an excellent busi- 
ness sense. 

THE HAND POSSESSED by Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. 
Wallace is a most unusual combination of types. It is both spatulate 
and pointed, disclosing a most complex and somewhat contradictory 
nature. Here are both the furious energy and drive of those who 
have spready, spatulate hands; and the insight, intuition, almost, 
psychic powers and idealistic dreaminess of those who have pointed 
hands. The combination of these two types the spatulate and the 
psychic is a very rare and a very beautiful one. Its beauty is 
emphasized in Mr. Wallace's hand by almost perfect balance. Fingers 
and palm are exceedingly well proportioned. 

Mr. Wallace's thumb is flexible, with both the first and second 
phalanxes well developed, revealing fairly strong will power and 
brilliant reasoning ability. 

But it is really in the lines of Mr. Wallace's hand that I find the 
most revealing indications of his complex, brilliant and unusual 
makeup. His lifeline is very long and clear, reinforced by a second 
line the line of vitality inside the line of life. This should indicate 
long life, almost boundless energy, action and accomplishment. 

When you look for the head- and heartlines, you find only one 
line the two joined into one. This in itself is a very unusual 
feature in any hand. In Mr. Wallace's hand it denotes tremendous 
intensity of purpose. Those who have their head- and heartlines 
joined into one possess, above all, great capacity for work. They are 
able to keep their own counsel. They are at their best when on top, 
in executive positions, not hampered by the rule and direction of 
others. They shine by their daring ideas and strong ideals. 

At the same time, they have a persistent determination which 
makes them succeed against overwhelming odds in almost everything 
they set out to do. I have seen this single, combined heart- and 



headline in hands of outstanding leaders generals, captains of 
industry, and the like and, in whatever endeavor they find them- 
selves, they always leave an indelible mark of their personality and 

That Mr. Wallace's hand is a hand of great potentialities and 
brilliant future success is seen first of all in the line which starts off 
from his line of life and runs strongly to the base of his third finger 
a line of brilliancy and a sure sign of success and fame. 

There are many squares, found especially in the center of his 
hand, which are marks of preservation. The triangle seen above the 
headline, between the second and third fingers, indicates outstand- 
ing administrative ability. The square under the first finger tells us 
that he will not let his ambitions run away with him. The many 
lines found at the outer edge of his hand show a restless nature, 
not satisfied with things as they are if they can be improved, and 
also point to the probability of much travel. 

In summing up, I want to say that, basing my conclusions on the 
totality of the shape and on the formation of the lines in Henry A. 
Wallace's hand, I would not be surprised to see his outstanding 
abilities rewarded with the highest honors this nation has to offer. 

and radio audiences about all the big events in the sports world is 
one of the luckiest I have ever seen. Not that luck is all there is to 
be seen in Lowell Thomas' hand. In type, it is a combination, and a 
rather unusual one, of the spatulate and knotty shapes. If you refer 
back to the section in which hand types are discussed, you will see 
why this combination is out of the ordinary. It means a marriage of 
action with thought not just business and administrative ability, 
but profound, original thinking. 

Furthermore, Lowell Thomas' line of head tells me that he is not 
just a theoretician so far as sports are concerned. The double curve, 
first down, then up, to be found at the end of his line of head gives 
him that perfect coordination of mind and muscle which is necessary 



to the champion athlete. The quality of the line of head is excellent, 
clear, deep and unbroken. 

The lifeline in Lowell Thomas' hand is one of his strongest. But 
notice the island near its beginning. From this I judge that, like other 
men of action, Thomas will encounter serious danger during the 
course of his life. The square right in the center of his hand gives 
every promise that he will come through all right. 

The heartline, with its fork under the index finger and the many 
small leader-lines going into it, is the heartline of a spirited man, 
loyal in friendship and well endowed with physical courage. The 
thumb shows strong temper, easily aroused but quick to subside. 

The line of destiny, starting from the mount of imagination, goes 
up to a point between the second and third fingers, indicating that 
Mr. Thomas' fate is not altogether under his own control. Yet, fate 
has been very kind to him. His career has been aided by friends, 
and circumstances have furthered his success. 

Lowell Thomas' line of Apollo, which starts from the fortunate 
square in the center of his hand and runs up in a number of parallel 
branches to the base of his third finger, indicates both luck and 
versatility. And notice the star on this line, under the third finger. 
A star in this position, I have found to be a most brilliant sign of 
fame, honors and fortune. The triangle at the base of Thomas' line of 
life indicates that he may at some future date test this good luck of 
his in some public capacity. 

And, last, look at the long, independent little finger in Mr. 
Thomas' hand. This goes with the fluent ease of expression for which 
Mr. Thomas is famous. 

WALT DISNEY'S HAND is the fortunate combination of knotty- 
philosophic and spatulate. This is indeed a lucky duality, for it gives 
Mr. Disney the capacity for independent thinking plus the energy 
and courage for action. Too many thinkers live in a world of abstract 
ideas and do not contribute directly to the world we live in ; and too 
many of our men of action are incapable of arriving at sound bases 



for their activities. From the creator of the world's most popular 
comedians, Mickey Mouse and his troupe, we can expect both orig- 
inality and action. 

Now, to look at the individual fingers. Notice that the first and 
third are long compared with the middle finger. This signifies the 
attributes of leadership, dramatic talent and sociability more promi- 
nent in Disney's makeup than the serious, ingrown thoughtfulness 
which is associated with the finger of Saturn. The little finger is un- 
usually long. Ordinarily, it reaches only to the base of the third 
finger's first phalanx. In Disney's hand it extends almost to the 
middle of the Apollo finger's first phalanx. This underscores the 
prominence of Mercurial qualities: business ability, fluency of ex- 
pression and humor. 

The thumb, which is of a pronounced spatulate type, marks out 
Disney's courageous and enterprising nature. 

The lines of Walter Disney's hand are markedly individual. His 
lifeline in the right hand is unusually long and firm except for some 
minor breaks near the beginning. It shows great improvement over 
the very broken lifeline in his left hand, which I have not reproduced. 
The headline, strangely enough in a man who has accomplished so 
much in public ways, is closely tied to the lifeline at its beginning, 
even showing portions which penetrate within the area enclosed by 
the line of life. This shows a supersensitive nature which would al- 
most have made a hermit of Disney were it not offset by the large 
triangle of humor seen connecting the lines of head and heart at the 
base of the second finger. 

The line of heart is set pretty low in the hand, which indicates 
that Mr. Disney is quite emotional. The destiny line^hows a definite 
break at the line of head and a new beginning at another point on 
the line of head. This second part of the line of destiny joins the 
triangle of humor and shows how Disney found himself in his satiric 
artistry, and how he won success through it. 

The girdle of Venus is quite noticeable in Disney's left hand, 
though less pronounced in the right. This gives evidence of his crea- 
tive imagination, which he has perhaps partly suppressed in arriving 
at an outstanding business success. Jhe prominence of mount Luna, 
along the outer edge of the hand, however, also attests to an active 


imagination which finds expression in the thousand and one humor- 
ous details in his cartoon-comedies. 

But even more important than the mount of Luna in Disney's 
hand is the mount of Apollo, whose fullness is directly under the 
Apollo finger. This mount is usually to be found between the base of 
the second and third fingers. When it occurs directly under the third 
finger it is an exceedingly fortunate indication. In Disney's hand it 
probably more than makes up for the absence of the Apollo line. 

There are many lines of restlessness along the outer edge of Dis- 
ney's hand, and he will probably travel about, perhaps go in for 
exploration or flying fairly late in life. But whatever he does, the 
saving grace of humor, so prominently designated by the triangle of 
which I have already spoken, will temper his actions and his 


How to Ma/(e Imprints and Analyze Your Hand 

IN studying your hand, be sure to examine every portion of it, but 
do not let the details confuse you. First, form an estimate of the 
hand as a whole, then relate the variations of your lines, fingers, 
mounts and markings to that whole. 

The back of the hand makes a good starting point, for it will tell 
the general type of your hand. Note the length and heaviness of the 
fingers in proportion to the palm and in relation to each other. 
Examine the joints. Are they prominent, or are the fingers smooth? 
What is the quality of your skin? Coarse or fine? But do not let 
artificial coarsening of the skin from exposure to cold, wind or ma- 
terials used in your work confuse you. Look carefully at the nails. 

Now feel the hand and the fingers. Are they stiff and uncompro- 
mising or supple? Note whether the fingers bend back easily at all 
the points or more at one than at another. Are the fingers wide apart 
or close together? Are they straight or crooked? Do some lean or 
bend towards others? 

Now, turn the hand and look at the palm. What is the first im- 
pression you get of it? Is it long and narrow or wide? Is it square, 
oval, tapering or sp ready in shape? Notice its color. Look at it in 
relief. Are the mounts prominent or is your palm flat in appearance? 
Is the flesh firm and elastic or flabby? 

Look again at the fingers from the palmar side, repeating all the 
observations you made of them from the back. Pay special attention 
to the thumb. Is it set low? Is it set free or close to the hand? Is it 
long or short, and which is its longest and heaviest phalanx? 

Now turn to the lines. First, before examining them individually, 
form a general impression of their quality and number. Is your palm 
marked with many fine lines or are there few? Are most of them 
clear and firm or are they broken up^ broad and shallow, feathered, 
islanded or interrupted by dots? Study the lines in relation to each 



other. Which are longest and strongest? What is the general pattern 
formed by the principal lines of your hand? 

Do this with both your hands, comparing the two carefully. The 
left hand shows inherited tendencies. On it you will see the char- 
acteristics and tendencies transmitted to you by your parents. From 
the right hand, you can judge the variations you have composed on 
the main motifs shown in your left. You will be able to tell whether 
or not you have made the most of your potentialities, whether you 
have fulfilled the promise of your left hand. If you are left-handed, 
of course reverse the significance of the two hands, for the left will 
then be the operative one. 

All these preliminary observations you can make from the hand 
itself. There is, however, only one accurate way of carefully analyz- 
ing the hand. That is from a clear imprint. A good impression will 
bring out the major lines of the hand, pointing up their differences in 
quality. Moreover, a good print gives you a permanent record which 
you can compare with later prints as time goes on. A series of im- 
pressions of the same hand taken at regular intervals over a number 
of years is a much more telling record of your development than is a 
photograph album. The lines of the hand change as you change. 

For that reason, I urge everyone to keep such a record of himself. 
It not only makes an interesting memento, but it actually gives you 
a diagnosis of your physical and mental development. From care- 
ful comparison of the prints, you should be able to reorientate your- 
self if you have strayed off the path of constructive development, for 
you will clearly see the minute changes in yourself which are making 
you into a different person. 

You may want to send an impression to me for analysis. Your 
own study of the hand will tell you much. What I can give you in 
addition is the knowledge gained through study of thousands of 
impressions of prominent persons all over the world. Because the 
publishers foresaw that you might wish to have me examine your 
handprint, they have made arrangements by which I can give you 
a general analysis, based on the general type of your hand and the 
outstanding trends revealed in its lines. 

And now for the method of making hand impressions. I have in- 
cluded in this book eight sheets of paper sensitized by a process 


which I invented for the purpose. On this paper, you can make an 
impression of your hand without in any way staining or soiling it. 
The directions are simple. For best results, prepare a solution of soda 
one teaspoonful of bicarbonate or the plain washing or baking 
variety of soda in a tumblerful of glycerine. The glycerine, which is 
quite, inexpensive and can be bought at any drugstore, makes the 
clearest impressions. If you do not want to trouble about glycerine, 
lukewarm, soapy water, in the same proportions, will give an ade- 
quate handprint. 

After you have dissolved the teaspoonful of soda in the liquid, wet 
a corner of your handkerchief or some other small piece of cloth and 
moisten your hand left or right, whichever is the one you use for 
writing and other activities. Be sure to avoid excess moisture, as too 
much liquid will blur the impression. 

Place a pad of four thicknesses of turkish towelling under the 
impression paper. Then put your hand, palm down with the fingers 
slightly spread, on the sensitized sheet. Press down the hand with an 
even, light pressure, gently applying extra pressure with the other 
hand to the fingertips and palm. Be sure that you do not shift your 
hand while you are making the print. 

After you have removed your hand, allow the print to dry for 
about an hour. When you are quite sure that it is dry, replace your 
hand in exactly the same position as you had it in when you made 
the print. Now, with a pencil, carefully trace the outline of your hand 
as it rests on the paper. When you are finished, you will have a com- 
plete print, the impression giving you the lines, markings and emi- 
nences of the fingers and the palm within the pencil outline which 
you have just added. 

The first thing to do now is to write your name and the date on 
the back of the sheet of paper so that you will be able to refer to the 
impression in the future. Then try to analyze the print or, if you 
wish, send it to me for an analysis.